Mrs. Thurman, Mrs. Edwards & Ms. Deehr (teachers): all 3 of you inspired my children in many ways. You consistently worked with them in their weaknesses, helping them build up. And you played to their strengths as well, helping buoy them along throughout the year.
Ms. Anthony: your positive daily voice, your presence and your availability are rare to encounter in other school districts. Thank you for all you endeavor to do for your families, students, staff and community!
Both of my children had areas in which to improve this past year. Both teachers worked with them and helped them meet those goals. Both teachers were aware of their strengths as well. How fortunate are we to have had such a great pair of teachers for our first year in Alaska? Very, I think!
I have one child who excels and revels in school, and another who simply enjoys the social aspects of school life. The child who is more driven frequently had additional works to complete, as she was included in a higher level grouping. The other child had a weekly packet, given on Fridays, that could be returned as early as Monday the following week. For both children, there was also a good bit of reading required/allowed. As such, it seemed that both needs were being met.
As previously mentioned, there were some instances of hormones and home behaviors bleeding over into the daily environment. This is to be expected at the ages of the students with whom my children interacted. My role was to keep an open dialogue with both my children, and the teachers. My daughter took a situation between herself and another student, and determined that their friendship was unhealthy. As such, they decided to end the friendship, amicably. I was amazed and pleased to see this handled between the students. The teacher praised both girls, in a private moment so as not to cause embarrassment, for their mature decision making.
There were several children who felt singled out at times. One child, not my child but a friend, was being verbally bullied over the year. The school met with the involved parties, the parents of the bully accepted no wrong doing on their child's behalf. So in as much as the school handled their role, there are some things that simply cannot be enforced if the parent is unwilling to discipline the child causing the issue. My children spent a lot of time helping the targeted child learn to not rise to the other's baited words/actions. The teacher did her best as well. So yes, they have a mechanism but no, not all situations respond to that stimulus.
There were incidences throughout the school year (burgeoning hormones in the population) that were dealt with, case by case. Some issues were handled better than others. However, these are human & heart issues. You cannot expect teachers to instill values that haven't been modeled at home. So the children who don't have those mores will not always behave according to the greater population. We experienced a single incident of theft (Christmas giftcard) that was never returned. It wasn't the teacher's fault, because she was very clear about where items should have been placed. Even if it was an honest mistake, the child should have brought it back, but they simply did not.
The principal Ms. Anthony is negligent in student care. This school is not a safe learning environment. If you want your kid bullied this school is for you. Today my child and another student were removed from the bus and the school never called us parents. I thought my child was missing until another child informed me. I had already dialed the police. The principal would not speak to me because I held accountable and would not allow her to speak down to me like she does to the students and other parents. Homeschooling is your best option if Ladd is your only option.
I agree with the last post about the school size and space, but I also have a problem with their policies and communication. My daughter meets in a closet/storeroom for "tutoring". Literally, a closet! The place is just big enough for a desk and chair. Imagine my surprise when I found this out - and they did not even tell me that they were pulling her out of classes and sending her to a closet to be "tutored" by another parent - not even a teacher or district employee, but a part time temp. They say that her assessments showed she needed extra help. How is pulling her out of class where the learning is taking place, supposedly, going to help her when she is missing instruction and being "taught" in a closet by a local mom? They did not tell me about this, ask me about this, did not give me options, I just found out about it when I was walking through school with my daughter and she showed me the closet where she spends part of her day. Do you think the principal cared? Not this one, she didn't even want to talk to me, and when she did, she spoke down to me like I was one of her naughty students. I can't wait to leave this school.
I'm not sure what the negative reviews are about, I have two children attending Ladd. One in 4th grade and a child in the special pre-k classes. The new principal has developed new programs to encourage the children's good behavior (pawsitive paws) and the school finally addressed the traffic issue. The staff is supportive and helpful. Parents are involved and children are taken care of. As a military family they have been compassionate and understanding at the demands military families are faced with. I would have given the school 5 stars, but I do think it lacks space for the amount of staff and students that they have on campus.