This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Daniel Pratt Elementary School4
Posted January 11, 2015
- a parent
Our child has been a student at DPES for 2 years and we have had no problems. Her teachers have all been fantastic. My main concern is with the lack of extracurricular classes. ie weekly art, music, technology & structured PE
I would not recommend this school because of the principal. He treats the parents very badly and threatens to have parents banned from the school if they have a disagreement with him. The vice principals are his little puppets. He has them trained well. The punishment is very cruel for 6,7, and 8 year olds. They assign them to in school suspension for small things. I feel like you can talk to children about some things the first time so that they can understand it was a bad choice. The school doesn't allow parents to do much at the school. I was able to go to my son old school whenever as long as I checked in at the front office.
We moved here from a small town in Ohio where my son had gone to school with the same kids since kindergarten. He entered the 6th grade when we moved here and he's happier than he's ever been! It's a fantastic school and I love how they encourage parent evolvement but don't force it down your throat. You're welcome to come eat lunch with your child everyday. There is a 0% tolerance for bullying. The teachers and staff are phenominal! We couldn't be happier.
This school has great teachers who do the best with the resources they're given, however they seem to be stressed beyond their limits. I am up there occasionally and I've overheard some of the teachers' concerns about teaching 4 classes. This 4 class change is new for the upper grades this year. The teachers' mentioned that they felt as if they weren't meeting their students' needs because of the shorter class periods, too much paperwork, and lack of rapport with their students. This is heartbreaking to hear as a parent. In the near future, my child will be in the upper grades. I worry if my child will be provided the best education with the demands of this type of schedule. It seems like the school is trying to run a junior high-type schedule in an elementary school setting. I really hope the administration of this school will consider some of their teachers' and parents' concerns in making future plans for our children's education and success. This is a great school. I definitely don't want to pull my child from it, but when it comes to your children, you want to do what's best for them.
We are millitary one parrent active one retired. This tour to Maxwell started with AWC. We have been here for three years. We have a 1st grader and a 6th grader this year. Previous school was in Greenville NC. First there are 1200 students at this school. 6th grade class size will be just over 30 students this year. As with any school, the learning environment for the child is teacher/parent dependent. Teachers do not have time to focus on each child. They do a good job of presenting the material in standard way, and the parent will need to help thier child with any issues. This was the same with our last school. The constant fund raising is anoying to parents and distracting to students but necessary to do with budget cuts. I've had very little interaction with the administration, but they seem cordial enough. The lacking arts programs are standard in all disticts that have to choose between comon core and "extra" courses. Recent rankings put Alabama 48th. If you are comming from the North East, or the Mid west you may be dissapointed, but as compared to other schools in the south then Daniel Pratt does an excellent job.
During this past year 2013/2014 school year, my daughter has had the best experience ever at DPES. My daughter struggled in previous years at the school and had teachers who did not take time out to help her when she needed help. This past year in fifth grade, my daughter had the teacher by the name of, Ms. Myers who taught (math, science and history) and she was God sent to my daughter. She took time out to make sure that not only was my daughter getting the information but that ALL of her peers were getting it. I have another child who will be entering fifth grade next year and we were hoping that he would have Ms. Myers as well but we heard from other disappointed parents that she was moved to special education for some "co-teaching" thing the school has decided to do this 2014/2015 school year. This is very disappointing to see wonderful classroom teachers to be taken away from children who are average students just as my daughter and son. We are a military family and we have now decided to homeschool our children for the simple reasons of DPES is always changing too much (teachers being moved and inconsistence of administration).
My kids didn't learn ANYTHING new until Dec and have been watching movies since ACTs. Mediocre teachers co-teach with yellers or someone who refuses to answer students' questions, replying, "I already explained that! Go sit down!" This sort of duo is common here. DPES front doors remain unlocked with no buzz-in system. Office staff (generally parent volunteers not at the desk, who NEVER answer the phone) can't SEE the doors, so anyone can walk into the building. Meanwhile, kids are ALWAYS in lock-down in their classrooms. Volunteering, unless it's to make $ for the PTA, is discouraged. A military wife was asked to correct papers in the hallway when she insisted on coming in. School is cancelled constantly after the superintendent leaves frantic-sounding messages saying they won't endanger the lives of students. You won't change your child's ride-home option without a hassle on such days! Teacher emails are ignored. "No child left behind" means faster- and slower-moving groups elsewhere, but here everyone is held back, even after grasping the info. It's been the throw-away year everyone told us it would be when we moved to AL! We're getting out of the Prattville ISD!
I LOVE DPES! My children, 2nd grade& 5th grade, LOVE DPES! The teachers & staff there are wonderful! In response to some of the previous posts, admin at DPES are more then willing to assist parents with anything! We have been there for 3 years and have not had a problem with admin at all. I think our principal is more then willing to answer questions and return phone calls if the questions require an answer.He is a busy man, therefore if the questions asked can be found in the handbook or on the website, you may not get a call back, and I think that is reasonable.Our school lacks funds for technology, therefore there are fundraisers that students are asked to participate in to better their school.That is reasonable. Snack Store:I have been in there and can assure you, it is all nutritious. Just like lunchroom, snack store by law has to have nutritious food provided for purchase. If you do not think the snacks there are healthy enough for your child, by all means pack them a snack from home! I only gave 4 stars because in any school there is always room for improvement!! I wish there was an APT meeting once a month or so opened up to ALL parents. Other then that, I LOVE DPES!