Here are some things I wish I knew when people were telling me Blount is a great school. I understand people do have different expectations, I am a mom that wants the best for my children, so am a bit pickier than some. 1. They have limited recess and in many cases no recess. This makes it hard for the kids to sit still all day and to make new friends. 2. PE is on a 2 week rotation with art/music and computers. So, no PE for a month at a time. 3. PE is in a trailer out back when they can't go outside. (google map it, you will see the trailers). 4. The building and grounds feel old, dark and dingy. 5. The overall environment is not warm and friendly. As with any school there are really great and bad teachers. The "8" rating is based on test scores vs. other schools in the state, which they do well teaching to, but I would take the "8" with a grain of salt, especially depending on where you are coming from. Some people really do love the school (mostly locals) and many military admit that it is fine as long as it's only for a year. I agree that if you can afford private school, pay for it. That being said, Blount (or Wilson) are the best public schools you will get in Montgomery.
My child had the best learning experience at this school. Her teacher was fabulous and kept the students engaged and challenged. The environment was welcoming and the principal was always available and visible. The students love her and you can tell that she has a genuine love for the students and being a principal.
don't be deceived by this "Great Schools Rating" Montgomery County" is know for having the worst public schools and so i guess you can consider Blount the best of the worst. the curiculum leaves much to be desired. my child attended a private school and kindergarten and i promise you when he started attending this school it was as if he was learning some of the same things all over again, if you don't believe me then ask them for a copy of their sight words for the grade your child will be attending. now let's talk about the security of the school which by the way is a joke... the " enclosed" office cubicle that sits in the front when you walk in is even a bigger joke. on any given day you can walk right into the school because one of the doors is always unlocked(before the sandy hook incident, they were all unlocked). sometimes they ask you for id when pick up a child and sometimes they don't it just depends on who is at the desk that day. there are always people walking around in the halls and i myself was able to enter the school and walk all the way through without anyone stopping me and i promise you this is no lie! if you can afford to send your child to a private school.
This school has been a steadfast, quality school in the Montgomery Public School system. The school and its administration, staff, and teachers are not perfect - but it is a school where these persons strive to provide a safe, secure, well-balanced, and academically challenging environment for the students. All of this being said, they do this under the confines of public education and trying to appeal to the demands of many parents, grandparents, guardians, education officials, government officials, and the students. I make these comments after having three children who have gone to Blount from 2003 (the first year it opened) through 2011. I have spent many hours volunteering there in many areas (including the office) and encourage anyone to "walk in another person's shoes". For example, do you want a small glimpse of a teacher's day? - volunteer to take the class to lunch. Are you frustrated with carpool? - volunteer to help direct traffic. You get the point. It's a good school, not a perfect school. When everyone takes responsibility in their child's education, the student(s), parents, and school will benefit.
We are a military family here for only one year. We have been quite pleased with Blount, even coming from an amazing school in York Co, VA. The fifth grade team of three teachers is phenomenal. We couldn't have asked for a better balance for our 11 year old. Our 2nd grader adores his teacher, she is vary caring. If I were to have a complaint it would be that the curriculum for 2nd grade is a little behind compared to VA, but we are able to supplement with other activities. We have had minimal interaction with the principal but I hear from others that she is very good with both discipline issues and special needs. The PTA is involved at a good level and is surprisingly welcoming to the one year military families. My favorite thing about his school is the cultural diversity of the student body, it's hard to have racism when there is such a great balance and variety of people. The teachers handle the diversity very well. Not all teachers use email, so it was a little challenging working out communication, but we worked it out by putting in a little volunteer time. Front office staff takes a little warm up time, but they come around if you show your face enough.
Not a good school for military families especially if you are here for a year. The principleand teachers will appease you until Christmas then ignore you for the rest of the school year. Kids are bored.
POOR DAILY SCHED--While i agree this is a good school with a caring staff, a blind eye has been turned to a poor daily schedule for first graders-- my son is in 1st grade. Just a heads up, they DO NOT have any unstructured down time until lunch at 11 and then nothing until recess at 2pm right at the end of the day. What is the point of recess at the END of their LONG day--DEFEATS THE PURPOSE? They might as well send them home at 2. That's like putting spring break at the last week of school. We are coming from a more academically challenging school where the students had a small break in the morning then recess after lunch-- it was great AND IT WORKED. I was told one reason "recess" was at the end of the day, was because kids would be too tired to learn in the afternoon. That makes no sense and was not the case for me growing up nor many students with more forgiving schedules across the country. This makes me, as well as other parents, who opted to send their children to private schools, question the integrity of this school. Many parents told me they just power it out sense they're only here for a short time. I dont think that's fare to kids at such a young age. Change needed!!
I am a military parent with 2 children at Blount. One of my children is also special needs. I am VERY impressed with the depth of caring of the staff. I have interacted with administration, special education staff, and teachers in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 4th grade. I am not particularly thrilled with the required Alabama curriculum, however, I feel the teachers do their best to supplement in order to ensure children are learning what is necessary (rather than only what's required). I really think the PTO does a great support job without being overwhelmingly irritating to parents. I do feel that the student to teacher ratio is high, but that is due to the economy and can not be easily fixed.
I have had three of my children attend Blount Elementary over the past two years. It is an excellent school with a great principal and wonderful teachers. It is truly a shining star in the Montgomery Public School System. As a military parent and educator myself, I have had experience with many different schools and Blount will always be a place with fond memories where my children received an excellent education along with the love and support military families need.