My children started Fireside in it's inaugural year. They were ideal students (did not get into trouble, were very respectful, on the Principal's List every year, etc). Being a stay at home mom, I volunteered on a regular basis. Both kids were at Fireside for a year & a half until we moved out of state. My kids were very sad to leave their friends & teachers behind as they had gotten attached to the school and everyone within it. We received the yearbooks that I had paid for only to find out that the school totally wiped my kids' existence from that school. There were no class photos (they took ANOTHER photo after my kids left), no choir photos (again, they took ANOTHER photo after my daughter left), no individual photo (they simply just didn't include them). The yearbook club simply did not include ANY of the photos taken of my kids before they left. My kids were so upset & heartbroken at the school for doing this to them. Fireside is full of pretentious parents, mostly women. The PTO is made up of parents who gossip way too much. Parents volunteer for a social gathering. Parents beware if education and school experiences are important! My kids are both thriving now!
We were at this school for one year in the regular classroom (gifted cluster). The school cannot claim they differentiate whatsoever. I have been in two fabulous differentiated classrooms, and the 2nd grade here is not it. My child came from another PV school known for rigor and a great cluster where I wish we would've stayed. The cluster at that school was amazing for K-1. At Fireside, it's almost as if we lost an ENTIRE year of academic progress. Now in 3rd grade at yet another new school, it's heartbreaking to see how far my child fell behind in the past year in every academic area. My child is now having to re-master areas that she had down cold in 1st grade. Her writing completely fell off last year. Hardly any writing homework whatsoever the whole year, no reports, no paragraphs... no thinking. NO reading assignments. NONE, ZERO. Math was laughable. In our old school, it was not ok to be a "minimizer" or to do the least possible work to get by.... but in Fireside there seemed to be no high expectations. It instilled some incredibly bad habits in the past year that I'm going to be spending the next year breaking. Even the "security" is a joke - no locked gates, no oversight.
This school has wonderful teachers and a new principal who has demonstrated a lot of enthusiasm and great ideas. We have been at the school since it opened, and we love the PTO, the energetic teachers, and the addition of the self-contained program into our school. Very safe environment and an efficient office staff make this an awesome school!
Fireside is a fantastic school and 1-2self-contained gifted is no exception. The teacher goes above and beyond each day to provide engaging experiences for her students every day. My child adores school because the experience in this program and at this school. Highly recommend to anyone seeking an exceptional education for their children. Truly world class.
This is our second year at Fireside and the new principal has been a breath of fresh air. The PTO and front office have been helpful, and my child's teacher has been great. We have been a part of the self-contained program in 3 different schools, and are very impressed with all of the teachers and the rigorous work that my kids are challenged with. All of the teachers at Fireside are professional and caring, and my daughter can't wait to go to school everyday :-)
My family is one of a large group of families that moved to Fireside to follow the truly exceptional team of teachers leading the self-contained program. The teacher leading the 1/2-SC class is widely acknowledged as a national leader in the field of gifted education & as a model for the successful implementation of 21st century learning. She is passionate about enabling profoundly gifted children to reach their full potential, nurturing their academic, creative, and emotional needs. The proof is in the numbers: currently, one third of the students in the class have had an older sibling in her class. It IS a very rigorous program, yet this teacher manages to keep the children engaged & encourage their natural curiosity. Her personal desire to continuously learn with & from her students is contagious & motivational. More than teaching these highly motivated students what to learn, she teaches them how to learn, honoring every part of the child. Largely based on the firm foundation she provides, her students continue to excel throughout their academic careers, distinguishing themselves among their peer group in Arizona as well as on the national stage.
I was recently made aware of the bad review of the 1-2 Self Contained teacher. I was surprised to read it and could not disagree more. We transferred to Fireside from another school in the district because of the strength of the self contained program, in particular the teachers. The progressive nature of the class has been incredibly stimulating, and my child thoroughly enjoyed the class last year. We as parents were kept up to date of class activities using an online blog and weekly emails in addition to the traditional parent teacher meetings. Parents also had opportunities to be involved with class parties and field trips. Our child thrived in the classroom, and we were pleased to find such a great fit. This teacher has been excellent for our child and we couldn't be happier.
I am curious - if the self-contained teacher is so bad, did you pull your daughter out? Because if not, it sounds like she wasn't as bad as you are saying, because a good parent wouldn't have let their child continue in this kind of setting.
The school is new and pretty with all of the new school technology you want to see in a school. Maybe because it is a new school, it just doesn't seem to have all jelled together. Everything is by the book without allowing for kids to grow as individuals. You can find some "hidden gems" like the chorus program but there is little that doesn't cost a bucketload of money to entice students into before or after school. I admit some things annoyed me last year when my daughter tested very high into honors math, was moved into it without me knowing, and since it was part way into the year she wasn't given the instructions to catch up. The honors math teacher I assume was frustrated with her not immediately knowing what they were learning because she told my daughter when she asked a question "You should know this by now" My stubborn daughter (age 9) decided she didn't like the class and refused to do the work. She was sent back to her original class, and sat on top of the class with A's that didn't challenge her at all. All of this happened without me knowing and I only found out after in a conference. If there had been communication with me, I am sure I could have worked it out.