Pros: some great experienced teachers. Assistant principal is wonderful. Lots of great extracurricular activities. Cons: A LOT of new teachers who don't like children & are unprofessional. Principal doesn't handle situations or care. Office staff is unfriendly.
There is a very small group of good, qualified teachers at this school. However, most of them are fresh out of college and inexperienced. They lack the basic knowledge and professionalism to do their jobs effectively. The teachers do not even appear to like children. The main qualifications for hiring teachers at this school and this system are that they attended the local high school and/or are the relative of someone in the system. Bob Jones grads and Madison County system admin apply only please. Nepotism and favoritism are rampant throughout Madison City! There are three pairs of mother/daughter teachers at this school alone! The communication from administration down is atrocious! Emails are not returned and requests for conferences are questioned. There have been four principals within the last five years. Our current principal is disingenuous at best. This is his first year as a principal and he does not have an elementary background. By far, this is the worst school and system that my children have attended. The belief MCS hires the best, most experienced teachers and administrators as well as is one of the top educational systems in our area is a myth!
The facility is nice, but I WOULD NOT recommend. My son's first grade teach, Kim Adams, was absolutely HORRIBLE! I went to the principal hoping to get a resolution with my problem, but he WAS NO help at all.
Columbia Elementary has been a good school for our kids. This last year, a new principal came into place and he seems to be very kind and good at his job. I really don't have anything negative to say nor do I have anything glowing to say. Our children have GREAT friends, so that means alot to me that the kids are surrounded by other kids from nice families. It really is a great community. When shopping around for a house here, we would speak to various neighbors and we heard many times that when the schools were redistricting the Columbia parents demanded their kids be able to stay at Columbia. It's the community that makes Columbia great as well as the teachers. Just nice, every day people who love our country and community.
It was a bit of a shock to move my child from a private pre-school to a public school because she was well ahead of the kindergarden level, so the first year was challenging for her behavior wise. So, while she loves her school and teachers, so I disappointed that there is not more emphasis on helping kids continue to progress that come into kindergarden knowing how to read and write. She was often very bored and therefore got into a lot of trouble for talking and distracting other kids. The teacher communicated to me that she thought she was bored, but there didn't seem to be any actions taken to challenge her. So, she didn't really learn anything new in kindergarden. In fact, I think she regressed in her writing skills because they didn't practice as much as in her previous school.
I have had 2 children attend this school and overall it is ok. However, my child was in 4th grade this year and his teacher J. Lanier was horrible. Her lack of communication about coursework was appalling. The students RARELY had home work so you never knew what was being taught in the class until graded papers were sent home. She never posted assignments or sent correspondance even if requested. Very negative, disappointing educational experience. My child learned very little if anything at school this year. My rating is based soley on this year's experience. My overall rating for the school would be 3 stars.
I have 3 kids at this school and we have had amazing teachers every time. Mr. james is an amazing, caring and progressive principal. The education and teachers are phenomenal. With the new zoning we may have to change schools and that saddens me to the point that we may move to another house in order to keep our kids at Columbia. I don't want them at any other elementary school. I have nothing but praise for all that they do for the students.