I think everyone who drives up Lake Avenue to Altadena wants to take a picture of Eliot School. Founded in 1931 and named for Charles W. Eliot (who was a president of Harvard University and responsible for introducing the elective course system), Eliot is a middle school, part of the Pasadena Unified School District and current home to about 700 sixth, seventh and eighth graders.
I toured the school the other day along with a small group of parents and Susan Savitt Schwartz, Director of Operations for Pasadena Education Network. PEN helps parents learn what Pasadena's public schools are really like by connecting them to the facts, to other parents and to the educators themselves.
Our tour was led by the (relatively) new principal of Eliot School, Peter Pannell, himself an Eliot alum. Mr. Pannell (he's the principal--I can't call him Peter) patiently answered questions and gave me the feeling he's an educator who cares. He hasn't forgotten what it's like to be one small kid in a big school.
You know me, I'm interested in the visuals, the architecture. But I found Pannell's earnest talk compelling. Over the coming days, with his help, I'll show you around inside Eliot School and tell you a little more about the fantastic things going on there--like the biggest API score gain of all the PUSD schools in the past year--and that's saying something.
Parent Tours at Eliot School are given the first Tuesday of every month, first thing in the morning. Contact the school at (626-396-5680).