This is my kids' 3rd year in the highly gifted program at Rogers Park. We couldn't be happier with this school. The teachers are great and my kids excel in this environment. One of my children has some special issues that the teachers have been great in addressing.
My child has been in the highly gifted program at this school. I think overall it's been very good for him, as he could be around children like himself. But there is also an isolation factor, as children come from all over Anchorage, so there's no meeting of the kids in your neighborhood. Maybe that doesn't happen anymore these days anyway. It seems like there is a LOT of homework; I'm sure this depends on the teacher also. They learn a lot, no doubt, but the hours each night and weekend are wearing on us. It's very competitive also. I love all the after-school activities, and the principal and highly gifted coordinator have been excellent. The grading standards are probably much higher than other elementary schools.
My daughter is finishing up Kindergarten in the Highly Gifted program at Rogers Park. The teacher has been responsive, communicative and involved. The principal knows parents and students by name and is involved in all aspects of the school. The PTA has about 85% involvement, an amazing number in today's uninvolved world. There's a lot of school pride and a lot of great learning! Very pleased with the educational experience so far.
I have mixed feelings about Rogers Park. I have had two children involved in their 'gifted' program. I also have a child who is high functioning autistic. We have had a real struggle in getting the help he needs at Rogers Park. Concerns over student/teacher placement is also difficult to get addressed. It is definitely hit and miss. I don't know if this is a district wide failing, but I would not recommend Rogers Park for 'special needs kids' unless you are willing to be very, very involved in advocating for your child.
The highly gifted program (IA) is outstanding, reflective of the students who qualify for it. I can't really speak too much about the non-gifted part of the school, though. There is tremendous parental and neighborhood involvement. It's a very old school; some of the kids attending are second-generation Rogers Park students. The neighborhood is one of Anchorage's oldest, and that helps. Big plus: The school, including the highly gifted program, is ethnically and economically diverse. It's difficult to compare Rogers Park to the optional schools like Chugach and Polaris. The Rogers Park student body is a mixture of neighborhood kids attending the traditional program and highly gifted kids who qualify for the IA program. As a result, there's a much broader range of students at Rogers Park than at optional schools.