The teachers at this school are hit and miss. Mr. Pieper, Mrs. Pieper, Mrs. McCalister, Mr. Benedetti, Mr. Vecera are great teachers that care about what they do and more importantly exercise common sense and avoid the political correctness gone amok that is prevalent with ASD. That being said the Principal and her administrative staff to include the counselor are borderline incompetent. They are so steeped in the liberal educational ideology that they are incapable of addressing simple discipline issues with students without having to resort to the heavy handed one size fits all solutions. They fully embrace the mother your kids approach and have a condescending and disrespectful attitude to Soldiers and Airmen that reside on JBER. In the three years my kids have gone here I have been left with the impression that they think they can parent my children better than me and my wife can. If you can afford it, send your kids to Eagle River Charter and or get a zone exemption and send your kids to Ursa Major.
This school does have it's strong points. I do think the teachers and principal genuinely care about the students. However, the discipline is weak at best for the older grades. There is a lot of talk about being nice, but not much action when students are harassed. The PTO is strong and they have many activities during the year. The principal has an open door policy and I think she has a positive attitude.
Ursa Minor is a great school, as long as your child has no issues that require attention from the staff. My son is a SpEd stufent and has been treated like a nuisence since he was diagnosed and he was no longer an 'easy kid'. I feel that this school, the principal there now in particular failed both of my children in not being willing to provide a safe learning environment. Again, this is personal experience. Perhaps someone else has had a better time of it. I just know that many families are moving out of that school and seeking their children's education elsewhere. As are we.
My son went here from K-2 and excelled. I really owe Mr. Piper for being the excellent teacher he was for my son in K. He taught my son to read and my son still excells at reading and I think its due to Mr. Piper teaching. My daughter went to K in FL and she did not fair as well and actually had to get held back due to low reading skills which I blame FL for. I miss the Alaska schools. I feel they are excellent schools with great teachers.
My sons attend this school and they love it. My middle son is going on his third year at Ursa Minor. He has advanced so much in his reading skills. My older son just graduated from Mr. Benedetti's six grade class and is going on to middle school. I know that he will do well because of the life skills that he has learned from Mr. B's class.
My daughter absolutely loved her Kindergarten experience at ursa Minor. Mrs. Nixon and all the other teachers are wonderful. It is a very well organized scool and parent envolvement is wonderful. My daughter looks forward to attending First grade at Ursa Minor, which have wonderful First grade teachers.