by Jodi Summers

Bravo! Four Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District elementary campuses have received the prestigious “Distinguished School” designation from the California Department of Education.

Franklin Elementary School, Point Dume Marina Science School, Roosevelt Elementary School, and Webster Elementary School were named as four of the 424 public elementary schools to receive the honor for 2014, announced State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

“The more I see of other elementary schools, both public and private, the more I realize how lucky we are to be at Franklin School,” writes one parent on “The teachers are outstanding. With the high level of parent involvement both in the class and financially this public school is still able to offer many programs that you usually see only in private schools these days.”

Here is how the winners performed on the state Academic Performance Index (API) – a single number assigned to each school by the California Department of Education to measure overall school performance and improvement over time on statewide testing. The API ranges from 200 and 1000, with 800 as the state goal for all schools.

With the 2014 announcement, Franklin and Webster are both two-time winners.

Franklin Elementary School

2400 Montana Ave.

Santa Monica, CA 90403

“This is Franklin Elementary School’s second California Distinguished School designation, our first award was in 2008,” praises Franklin Principal Tara Brown. “Everyone is absolutely ecstatic. I don’t think the designation changes the school, but gives validation to our amazing staff, students, parents and community for all of the hard work and effort that is made on a daily basis toward all students achieving academic excellence while narrowing the achievement gap.”


Webster Elementary

3602 Winter Canyon

Malibu, CA 90265

Webster Principal Dr. Susan Samarge-Powell observes that the award honors the school. “The students, staff and parent community all contribute to the successes found at Webster,” she shares. ”It is a wonderful environment in which to learn.”

Roosevelt Principal Natalie Burton and Point Dume Principal Rebecca Johnson credit the collaboration between staff, parents and students for their success.


Roosevelt Elementary

801 Montana Ave.

Santa Monica, CA 90403

“I am so proud that our students have flourished with such enthusiasm through our signature practices in math and English language arts,” applauds Principal Burton. “This exciting recognition is an honor for our entire Roosevelt community.”

One parent submitted this synopsis on, “Roosevelt is an amazing school with incredible, dedicated and responsive teachers who teach to the child, not the test, and an administration and staff whose dedication to the school is similarly amazing. The sense of community is remarkable and it’s been a magical elementary experience. We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity for our kids to attend Roosevelt!”


Point Dume Marina Science School

a.k.a. Point Dume Elementary

6955 Fernhill Dr.

Malibu, CA 90265

“I want to thank the students, staff, and parents,” said Johnson. “It is due to their continued dedication and extraordinary effort that this acknowledgment of PDMSS was made possible.”

“I applaud these strong, thriving schools that are making such impressive strides in preparing their students for continued success,” Torlakson said in a written statement. “This award is well-deserved by these school communities for their enduring dedication to high standards, hard work, and unwavering support.”

For the record, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is a school district headquartered in Santa Monica, California, United States. The district serves the cities of Santa Monica and Malibu. It has ten elementary schools, two middle schools, three high schools, an adult high school, and an alternative school.



Elementary schools

* Juan Cabrillo Elementary School (Malibu)

*  Edison Language Academy (Santa Monica)

*  Franklin Elementary School (Santa Monica)

*  Grant Elementary School (Santa Monica)

*  McKinley Elementary School (Santa Monica)

*  John Muir Elementary School (Santa Monica)

*  Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School (Malibu)

*  Will Rogers Elementary School (Santa Monica)

*  Roosevelt Elementary School (Santa Monica)

*  Webster Elementary School (Malibu)Middle and high schools

K-8 schools

ü  SMASH Alternative School (Santa Monica)

Middle and High Schools

ü  John Adams Middle School (Santa Monica)

ü  Lincoln Middle School (Santa Monica)

ü  Malibu High School (Malibu)

ü  Olympic High School (Santa Monica)

ü  Santa Monica High School (Santa Monica)


A good site for more information is:

Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. Santa Monica College maintains its hold as California’s No. 1 community college in transferring students to the prestigious University of California (UC) system, for the 25th consecutive year.

    This finding came from recent 2014-15 transfer data released by the University of California Information Center. SMC also held the top spot for transfers to the UC and the California State University (CSU) systems combined.

    SMC also topped in transfers for the number of African-American and Chicano/Latino students who headed to UC campuses: 43 African-American, and 184 who identified as Chicano/Latino.

    In 2014-15, SMC transferred a total of 1,074 students to the UC, maintaining its hold as the number one transfer institution – by far outranking the No. 2 and No. 3 UC feeder schools, which transferred 816 and 800 students, respectively.

  2. Santa Monica has won “by a landslide” in a ranking for Drunkest Cities in California.

    The honor comes from the site RoadSnacks, which found that there are more bars per capita in Santa Monica than anywhere else in the state.

    The Santa Monica Mirror reported that criteria included five benchmarks: number of bars and pubs per capita, number of wineries per capita, number of liquor stores per capita, each city’s drunk-related tweets within the past week and each city’s divorce rate.

    They counted geo-located tweets, measuring the following raw number of tweets that came from within a city’s general area: #Drunk, #Party, #Beer, #Wine and #Cocktails.

  3. The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) announced last week that the City of Santa Monica is a winner of its 2015 Best Restored Beach Award.

    For nearly 130 years, Santa Monica State Beach in Santa Monica, California, has been a dynamic link between the natural and man-made worlds, providing equal access to all who wish to congregate near this part of the coast.

    The existing wide beach in Santa Monica owes its existence primarily to the offshore breakwater.

    North Beach is characterized by an abundance of sand and sweeping views of Santa Monica Bay. South Beach is alive with popular “people places” such as Chess Park and the original Muscle Beach.

  4. U.S. News & World Report, a nationally recognized publisher of consumer advice and information, recognized four Santa Monica Hotels in its Best of Los Angeles Hotels in its annual evaluation of hotels that offer high-quality amenities and exceptional experiences.

    The four Santa Monica hotels included in its top 20 list were Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows (14), Shutters on the Beach (15), Shore Hotel (17), and Casa Del Mar (20).

    The Best Hotels methodology combines a hotel’s industry accolades with expert and guest reviews and hotel class ratings.

    U.S. News scored luxury hotels, identifying the top 10 percent in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean with Gold badges and the top 30 percent within specific markets with Silver badges.

    The rankings feature 2,558 hotels across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

  5. More than 112,000 prospective students applied for admission to UCLA for fall 2015, again making the Westwood campus the most applied-to four-year university in the country, the university announced today.

    UCLA received 92,681 freshman applications and 20,063 transfer applications, according to the university.

    The number of applications is 6.5 percent higher than last year, and also included increases among virtually all racial and ethnic groups.

  6. The Santa Monica-Malibu School District has welcomed 13 new administrators have joined the ranks as principals, assistant principals and directors across nine schools within the District.

  7. Teachers at Lincoln Middle School are hoping the new school year will literally inspire students to reach for the stars but a funding shortfall has imperiled their cosmic dreams.
    A team of educators is trying to implement a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program associated with the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). If successful, local students would have an opportunity to send an experiment into space. However, the school has to come up with $15,500 in the next two weeks or else the program could be scrapped. – See more at:

  8. Every year, 44 million people visit GreatSchools. Their goals vary, but many want to learn more about schools available in their area or where they might move. Some also want to gain more insight into their child’s school. With the exception of certain areas, including Indiana and Washington, DC, where we have more substantial data about things like student improvement rates and college readiness, in most of the country the GreatSchools Rating is based on averaging state test scores.

  9. I am a elementary teacher in another district. My sons have been in Franklin since K. One just graduated and the other will be in 5th grade. Franklin is an excellent school. Both of my sons individual needs have been met and with exception of 1 teacher out of the 11 years total my sons have attended the teachers have all been great. They have met my sons’ need for accelerated programs and my children have thrived. Although I could wish for smaller class sizes, I have never felt that my sons have lacked individual attention. Moreover, I know of no other public school and even private schools that can match Franklin’s music program. My older son who graduated has had 3 years of music, two years focused on his pick of instruments and even though he is unlikely to pursue music as a career he is very good at his instrument and is looking forward to Lincoln’s music program where he will continue to get instruction every day on his choice instrument. The gifted classes available after school to the students who qualify are terrific and have encourage both of my sons’ STEM interests.
    —Submitted by a parent

  10. The household mobility rate, or the percent of the population that moves into a new home in a year, has been slowing since the mid-1980s,

    A key driver of this trend has been the rise of homeownership in the 1990s. Homeowners are less like to move than renters. It’s much more expensive for homeowners to move because of broker fees, transaction costs, mortgage fees, insurance and so on.

    From 2000 on, aging population and changes in the labor market have also been negative for household mobility.

  11. There are more homes for sale in 2014, with inventory up 9 percent. Sellers are working harder to get their homes fixed up, so some of these places look pretty good.
    And you have a better chance of being able to buy one, with bidding wars down by double digits.
    More good news, prices have stopped going up so quickly. We predict prices to increase by just 6 percent in 2014, making it much easier for you to find a good deal on a home than when prices surged by 13 percent last year.
    And mortgage rates are at 4.1 percent, less than half the 30-year historical average of 8.7 percent; for a $500,000 house, this is worth more than $500 a month in mortgage payments.

  12. The United States may fuel the world’s largest economy and operate its most robust financial system. But compared to the financial prowess of teenagers in 17 other countries, U.S. teens come off downright mediocre.

    The 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development surveyed 15-year-old students in 13 member nations and five other nations throughout 2012 to ascertain their level of familiarity with the financial system as they neared adulthood. The survey questions assessed the teens’ understanding of bank accounts, credit cards, taxes, savings and contracts — among other topics.

    Teens in Shanghai, China, proved the most financially literate of the countries surveyed with a mean test score of 603; Colombia rounded out the bottom of the ranking with an average test score of 379. American teens scored an average of 492 points — placing them ninth in the ranking, exactly in the middle of the pack.

  13. Hector Medrano and John Misustin have joined Santa Monica High School as new House Principals. The pair’s appointment was approved at the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board meeting on June 25.

    Medrano comes to SMMUSD from Santa Ana Unified School District, where he has been serving as Assistant Principal at Carr Intermediate School for the past year.

    He also served as Assistant Principal at Century High School and Activities Director at Mater Dei High School, both in the Santa Ana USD.

  14. Kids have a greater influence on real estate decisions nowadays than they did in the past, according to a Coldwell Banker Real Estate survey of 2,800 parents spanning three generations.

    Sixty-seven percent of millennial parents (aged 18 to 34) said their child’s immediate emotional well-being was a more important factor when considering a move than long-term benefits like a career opportunity in another city. That compares with 64 percent of Generation X parents (aged 35 to 49) and 54 percent of boomer parents (aged 50 to 69) who said their kids took precedence.

    A recent analysis by Redfin suggests homebuyers are often willing to pay steep price premiums for homes served by top-ranked schools.

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About Jodi Summers

Jodi Summers
Sotheby’s International Realty

Jodi Summers Bio

With $100,000,000 in listed inventory, Jodi Summers understands the coastal commercial real estate market. A top producer with Sotheby’s International Realty, Jodi knows finance, rules, regulations, procedures and methods. She is accurate, knowledgeable, timely and aware of how government shapes the cities of Southern California.

Jodi is born in Brooklyn, raised in and around Manhattan – the family business was marketing, Madison Avenue style. Childhood math quiz questions calculated demographic and psychographic percentages or analyzed the allocation of adverting dollars. Word games were for devising slogans.

An honors graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, Jodi moved to California to achieve her goal of living by the beach with a palm tree and a hibiscus bush in her yard.
She thrived as an entrepreneur in the entertainment, media and marketing industries. One of her books, “Marking and Marketing Music,” is in second edition.

“My marketing and communication skills have proven to be a true gift when it comes to promoting real estate,” observes Jodi. “And I am consistently able to get an exceptionally high price per square foot for my sellers.”

Discipline (Jodi holds a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do), organization, motivation, excellent communication skills and knowing & satisfying the needs of her clients have been her essentials for running a successful business. A passion for investment real estate explains her emphasis in asset-yielding properties.

Her team joined Sotheby’s International Realty for the company’s powerful brand and stellar reputation.
“We offer the broad market knowledge needed to assist clients in formulating a sound acquisition strategy,” Jodi amplifies. “Together, we evaluate various markets, property types and neighborhoods to devise a customized approach that meets each client’s specific objectives.”

Jodi is a member of the Action Apartment Association of Westside income property owners, the Santa Monica Conservancy historic preservation society, the Ocean Park Association, the Friends of Sunset Park community group, the Real Estate Investors Club of L.A., and the Culver City Rock & Mineral Club. Members of her team are fluent in Spanish and Italian.

“Our reputation assures your satisfaction.”


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