This schools cultural aspect is its strong hold. However, I would only consider putting your child at this school if you speak either Navajo or Spanish in the home, or place your child into the preschool class from the very beginning. It became clear to us after much struggling and stress that they do not teach a second language at this school, they teach IN two languages. The communication was very poor between us, the teachers and principle. Ultimately, we felt like a burden when we asked questions and for help. Good program for some kids, but make sure you know what you are getting into before you send your kids here.
Puente has been an excellent choice for our family. I have to disagree with another poster who stated "The measure of a good school is not how well the kids can speak or read two languages but how well they can read, write and do arithmetic." That is a value judgment laid on us by a system that values those things in younger grades, and tests for those achievements through a system that rewards good test-takers. Is Puente for everyone? Of course not. Learning in two languages is challenging, and it does tend to drag back on achievement as it is typically measured. However, our child is blossoming, he is being exposed to the values of different cultures, and he is becoming bilingual-- very important to us. The teachers have been open to parental participation, and the principal has been very receptive to our concerns and need to tailor our child's whole education (of which school is only a part) to our needs. I only wish that the school had adequate staffing and funding it needs to address all of the students' challenges. We can meet our child's needs, as well as assist some classmates, but it is overwhelming.
The new testing scores are out and it shows the dismal record of the east Flagstaff schools. Mount Elden middle school is now failing as expected. The scores show an annual decline in the student performance across the grade spectrum at Puente. I guess that bilingual education system and cultural awareness is working real well. The kids will do very well in the real world when they can barely speak one langauge much less two. How about the declining scores in math, reading, and writing? As the scores from Mount Elden middle school show, the elementary schools feeding the middle school have failed. Great, they get some classwork in spanish and navajo but who cares if they can read, write or do arithmetic. They will do better in jail after they drop out from high school because they can't read or write. Being able to speak spanish and english will help them survive behind bars; not help them to finish school successfully. Keep up the good work. Obviously the parents are not the brightest based on recent previous comments. Get your kids out of this school while you can. We did.
Overall not a very good place for academics. It only has a "B" rating according to the state website. The scores for math and writing fall below the state passing levels. Only 45% of students meet the passing score for handwriting. Horrible! What are they teaching? Only 73% pass the state reading. On the Stanford 10 exams the scores are absolutely dismal. Language and reading scores are less than 40% of students passing compared to scores nationally. Parents should be very concerned about what is going on with the academics. The previous review refers to the bilingual aspect. The measure of a good school is not how well the kids can speak or read two languages but how well they can read, write and do arithmetic. Parents need to be more aware of how the school performs on a national standard. Arizona standards are lower than the national standard. I removed my children from this school based on the poor academic performance. There has been no real change over the past 3 years.
I think that PDH is an amazing school. I have two boys going into the English-Spanish program and in less than a year, they read and write Spanish so fluently that makes me cry of emotion. I think that academically they should push the children a little bit more, but I don't have any complains. I have a little one that soon will get into kindergarden, and I cannot wait to see how she learns Spanish, and also get to know other culture like the Navajo culture so rich in history, values, and traditions. Keep up the good work, and push a little bit more academics. A proud mama!
I was excited to send my daughter here for her kindergarten year. I was excited she could learn Navajo & English. But the teacher turned out to be rude and unfriendly! I never had an issue with my daughter wanting to so to school when she was in head start or kinder-camp. Until she started attending the K-Navajo class. The teacher never seemed happy, and instead of explaining what she was trying to teach she would walk over and pick the kid up and tell the student to stand. My daughter would cry and beg not to go to school, so I had to listen to my heart and pull her from the school. I spoke with the principal to see if we could move my daughter to another class & she stated that was not an option. maybe they should hire more K- teachers.Now she is attending Thomas & has been excelling and doing just great!
We transferred our child to PHD this year for the bilingual and cultural experience. So far, we think he is a doing very well. We are most thankful for our English teacher who has been supportive, encouraging, and so helpful. The principle is very kind and caring with her students. She truly wants the best for the school, though we felt some stress when asking for some individual help with our child. The Spanish teacher is an excellent teacher and very good with his spanish speaking kids, but we feel is a little too fast moving for our child that is just beginning to learn the language. Overall, great school. Staff are friendly, everyone greets our child by name. Great activities though we'd like more art projects. We hope we continue to have a great educational experience for our child here.
I am disappointed in this school. I don't feel that the staff are professional or safe. I believe they are relying on the bilingual draw and also use it as an excuse for poor teaching. The classes are too large for the teachers to manage. There is little real supervision on the playground. I have heard a lot of complaining from the teachers and not really seen much new material being learned by my child. I am hoping that this was just a rough year and that I will see improvement for my child next year-if not I will be taking my child out of this so far- sub par school. What a shame that such a good program is being so poorly facilitated.
A great school with exceptional teachers and high quality facilities. The bilingual experience is truly a tremendous opportunity for elementary-aged children.
We love PdH for it's ethnic, cultural and economic diversity, as well as for the early language learning (my 1st grader is in the Spanish/English program) and the small school setting with caring teachers. We feel so lucky to have this school available in Flagstaff.
I would have to disagree. My grandson has been a student since he was in pre-school PDH he is now in the first grade, and the teachers all have been great, they see you in the hall and they have been friendly.
Our son just finished Kindergarten, he is a part of the Navajo program. We had a great experience! We love the importance put on culture and the great parental involvement. We highly recommend this school and the Dine' program for Navajo families. :)
There 7th grade (puente language academy) is an awesome experiance for me i wish that p.L.A will keep going and have more students that went to p.D.H to go.Because it helps you with your spanish more then p.D.H and better than mems and fms!
Cultural diversity, small school, great parental involvment. Love this school!
PDH is a great school. The teachers do a great job of teaching the core content within the languages they teach. I would like to see more involvement with all three languages being taught (Navajo/Spanish/English). Our children are there to get more than a text book education. The program challenges children in ways traditional schools do not typically challenge their students. They are expected to learn the core content in two languages, not just one. The teachers and staff do a wonderful job of making the students feel comfortable at the school, which increases their openness to learning. The teachers and staff also accept and invite parent involvement, without letting parents run the school. I highly recommend the school. You have to know what you want your child to get out of their school experiences (text book learning v. education). -- Sean
Overall I thought my child's experience was great. We went in with understanding that the second language was going to be the priority and it was. My kid did great. Although english took a backseat, we worked on that at home. Good Job PDH! Kindergarden Navajo.
Puente De Hozho does not measure up to the hype surrounding it. Disappointing school all around.
This school was a disappointment. Staff were not friendly, teachers weren't very open to parental involvement.
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