Teachers really care about the kids and parents are involved in the school! My child is excited and proud to go to ASFL and her favorite class is gym class right now. Teachers communicate quickly with parents.
Apparently my Pre-K daughter's first month's IB focus was on being "Principled": "We’re learning about being Principled. This means we’re honest and do the right thing." If I recall, their story-time and some of their vocabulary words and probably some other areas of class time were devoted to honesty and integrity. Each month has a different concept.
My daughter's first year and the teachers so far have been very caring and communicate frequently with parents. I've had lunch with my child at the school and the other kids are well-behaved and respectful. The front office staff is typical--as long as you go in with a good attitude you'll receive the same back. PTA is very involved as evidenced by the gardens throughout the school and other events. The Halloween parade and the "Hooray for Hollywood" event where they let the younger children exit a limo, walk down the red carpet, and receive an Oscar looking trophy just shows how much effort the teachers and administrators are putting into it. Added bonus is the free breakfast, lunch, and snack for all the kids. School could be a little more diverse but it works.
I've been going to this school for 6 years and it has been amazing! This school is great, it's a magnet school and IB school and those are very rare. From Pre-K to 5th you get a French class every day, and once you get to middle school you can choose if you want continue taking French classes or take German or Spanish . This school has special education classes and an autism unit for kids with autism. We have and annual talent show. 5th and 4th place get a trophy. 3rd place gets a trophy and 10 dollars. 2nd place gets a trophy and 20 dollars. 1st place gets 50 dollars and a trophy. You also get a chance to travel. They were some people who signed up to go on the London, Paris and Rome trip. I love this school!
Four principals in as many years makes for poor leadership at this school. I found the atmosphere was often oppressive. There was little time for fun. Even gym glass had the teaches shouting at the kids, making them do rounds of calisthenics before they could play, IF they had time to play a game or do anything other than sit ups and push ups and jumping jacks. My daughter received citizenship and IB trait "caring" awards in kindergarten and first grade, but her second grade teacher took a strong dislike to her and picked on her the entire year, including making her sit out for 1/2 of field day as punishment for allegedly lying in an incident that took one child's word over another's. I typically back up the teachers in disciplinary situations, but this went too far. The principal, however, stood by the punishment. My eldest was targeted for being smart, and white. Yes, I said it. She was one of only two Caucasian girls in her grade, both of whom were bullied constantly. There was discrimination amongst the students and when I brought it to the attention of the administrators they were "shocked", having no clue of the level of bullying going on at their school. I regret the day I pulled my girls out of Chapman elementary because I was concerned about the reputation of Chapman Middle.
My son is being pulled fro this school this year. After attending the school for 3 years, he has lost his love for learning. His first grade teacher hated him and it was obvious to anyone looking in. He actually got into trouble because one of his classmates cut a hole in my son's shirt. He fell in the bathroom banging his head on the concrete and got yelled at for crying and was not allowed to see a nurse, nor was I notified of the head injury. The last straw was in second grade when for weeks at a time he was not allowed to participate in gym class because he wasn't picked to be on the team. What kind of elementary school program does not allow every child to participate in every class. Other parents voiced the same concerns regarding gym class. Then to top it off, one day he is left outside after gym class and no one knew he was missing. My child was wandering around trying to get back into the school during child pick-up times. He was unsupervised in a chaotic parking lot and anything could have happened. Meanwhile I'm waiting for my child and none of the teachers know where he is. I made complaints to the school board and was told these things happen.
My daughter started Kindergarten this year and wearing uniforms made deciding what to wear in the morning so much easier. You have many styles to mix and match. The education my daughter received this year has been amazing. There are plenty of projects and homework, so if you are a parent that loves to be involved in your child's school and education, ASFL is the school for you! They have many field trips, after school activities, and fundraising activities to ensure the school has the supplies they need to make learning fun. Dr. Garrett is an amazing principal. She greets the students by name and makes an effort to have short conversations with everyone she sees. The teachers do everything possible to create a fun but structured environment.