Frequently Asked Questions
What is the history of Echo Horizon School?In 1970, parents, educators, and community leaders created the Carol L. Proctor Echo Center, formerly known as the Oral Education Center. In 1983, Kent and Carol Landsberg established Kent H. Landsberg Echo Horizon School as a school that would educate deaf and hard-of-hearing children alongside their hearing peers.What is Echo Horizon's educational approach?We foster a balanced education that focuses on what really matters—curiosity, creativity, kindness, collaboration, and instilling in all students a love of learning.
Our diverse activities and pedagogies allow time to play, create, listen, focus, work hard, relax, connect, collaborate, and work alone. We honor the different experiences and needs of our students and believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and learning. As students learn and grow, they develop skills and habits of mind that include flexibility, creativity, innovation, collaboration, leadership, and conflict resolution. Such skills are vital and require multi-disciplinary understanding, not isolated learning.
Our whole-school program focuses on considering other points of view and perspectives. Our students learn to view projects and problems through multiple lenses and understand that solutions often come when people and content from different disciplines and backgrounds are considered and combined.Who are our teachers?Echo Horizon teachers are creative thinkers, innovative instructors, and lifelong learners with a growth mindset. We deeply value these exceptional educators and foster professional growth and learning that continually draws on well-researched, evidence-based teaching best practices.We researched the California standards and the Common Core to establish a curriculum that reflects the latest research on elementary education for each grade level. Our emphasis on creativity, exploration, and project-based learning engages each student. We administer standardized testing (ERBs) starting in 3rd grade.
- Singapore Math is the core of our math curriculum based on conceptual understanding, number sense, and problem solving. The focus for our students is not only knowing how to do math, but also understanding why the algorithms work as they do.
- Science is taught at all grade levels. Grades 3 and 4 visit the science lab to further enhance their classroom science. Grades 5 and 6 have all science classes in the science lab. Science classes are informed by the NextGen Science Standards.
- Language arts instruction encompasses speaking and listening skills as well as the development of reading and writing competency. Reading is rooted in a whole language approach with emphasis on phonics and other decoding skills in the early years.
- Social Studies is taught at all grade levels following the California State Standards. All grade levels utilize primary and secondary sources in their social studies classes. Cultural diversity is a common theme throughout a student’s course of study. For 5th and 6th grades, the curriculum reflects a move to an integrated Humanities class, blending traditional language arts with social studies.
- Technology: Students use technology for productivity, research, and creative expression. They gain proficiency in keyboarding, publishing, digital storytelling, and finding, synthesizing, and presenting information in a variety of formats. Echo Horizon students learn to be responsible digital citizens as they make local and global connections, and publish work that honors the intellectual property of others. Our graduates move on to secondary schools with a variety of skills in their digital toolbox and the ability to determine which tool will be most effective to communicate their ideas in different situations.
Our Pre-K program introduces our youngest scholars and their families to Echo Horizon School. Pre-K children learn how to get along with others, appreciate differences, and develop confidence in their abilities. The routines and procedures of a day at school help ensure a smooth transition to Kindergarten.What is our Kindergarten approach?Our Kindergarten program is designed to meet the needs of children who are 5–6 years old. All our learning is interdisciplinary and connected. Students may apply what they learn in Art to a Science project, for example. The emphasis is on working toward long-term goals and developing self confidence as they work through challenges.Echo Horizon’s new Afterschool Enrichment and Recreation program helps students develop—physically, intellectually, socially, and emotionally. Children take part in a balanced, sequential program of age-appropriate activities such as fitness, cooperative games, and cultural projects. They learn and practice invaluable life skills such as respect, responsibility, empathy, and fair play while having a great time and making friends.How does Echo Horizon provide grades and reporting?Narrative reporting occurs three times a year. Our fall and spring reporting are augmented by conferences between parents and teacher. In the upper grades, students are invited to participate in the spring reporting. Teachers and parents enjoy ongoing communication as necessary through email and in-person communication. The Head of School reviews all narrative reports for every student.“To discipline” means “to train, to teach.” At Echo Horizon School, rules and procedures are carefully taught and practiced. Teachers and staff are always present, in the classroom and in the playground, with children so they are able to give appropriate feedback in a positive way. This increases productive behavior and minimizes the need for negative consequences.How are deaf and hard-of-hearing children integrated into the Echo Horizon School program?Our Echo Center provides a national recognized auditory-verbal mainstream program for deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children, who are integrated into regular classrooms and learn in that environment. They receive the support they need to be successful from Echo Center teachers, who are credentialed in DHH education.What schools do Echo Horizon School graduates attend?Echo Horizon graduates embark on the next stage of their academic journey with strong academic skills, confidence, empathy, curiosity, and a love of learning. The schools our students matriculate to include Archer, Brentwood, Campbell Hall, Crossroads, Geffen, Harvard-Westlake, Marlborough, Oakwood, Wildwood, and Windward among others.
- Echo Horizon's Inquiry and Innovation Time (i2 Time) is a student-choice Maker/STEAM program in which the emphasis is on process, rather than product. Students solve problems by designing for others and learn by experimenting, making mistakes, and trying again.
- Library: Our beautiful library houses a comprehensive collection of 17,000 titles. Children visit the library weekly for story time, book talks, instruction in library skills, and checking out books. We have student-initiated book clubs, author talks, and book awards.
- Sports and Wellness: Our experienced educators help students lead physically active and emotionally healthy lives with activities and courses designed for varying developmental levels within each grade. We believe physical, mental, and emotional wellness are all vital in helping students become their best selves.
- We have sports teams for grades 4–6 in basketball, volleyball, track and field, and soccer. Students also have the opportunity to participate in interscholastic competition as part of the Coastal Canyon League. Practices and competitions each take place once a week.
- Arts/ALAS: Grades Pre-K–2 learn visual arts, performing arts, and music while working collaboratively and developing self expression. Our ALAS Program for grades 3–6 combines Spanish Language and Cultures, Global Visual Arts, and Global Performing Arts with outreach and service.
What makes Echo Horizon School distinct among independent elementary schools?
- We have a diverse and inclusive community that values kindness, caring, and empathy.
- Our exceptional teachers provide transformative learning.
- Our Social-Emotional Learning Program nurtures each child's character and ethical compass and develops social-emotional skills.
- The principles of design thinking—problem-solve, experiment, try again—are infused throughout the curriculum.
- We are an Apple Distinguished School, recognized for our innovative use and seamless integration of technology into the curriculum.