Posted June 9, 2011
Madison Simis is a wonderful school with a long heritage of excellence. Parents are involved, teachers are caring and hard-working, students are eager to learn. It is nurtured by an enlightened Phoenix community and enjoys a beautiful setting. We take pride in all that we have accomplished and are ever in a mode of continuous improvement. Thank you for your continued interest in Simis, and for your support.
We moved to this area of Phoenix just to attend Simis. We have been very pleased and it has surpassed all expectations.
As an experienced teacher I have seen over the past few years a greater shift in focus to academic achievement than ever before. The administration has given excellent support to its teachers to insure the highest level of educational achievement for our students. Ongoing continued education has helped produce a highly professional and knowledgeable staff. Our students continue to be rated among the highest not only in the Phoenix area, but in the state! (See test scores.) Our parent involvement is outstanding as well, as are the extracurricular offerings of Simis.
We had two children attend Simis. We have watched this school decline. Administration at the district level and locally at the school lost sight of what made this school awesome ~ experienced caring teachers with active and involved parents. The school still has two awesome 2nd grade teachers ~ Connie Belmore and Barb Carson ~ two shining examples of what the school used to have through out all grades.
I have had four children attend Madison Simis, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, interests and passions. The school has accomodated each child's unique needs incredibly well. The teachers are engaged, professional, and accessible. The have high expectations for themselves, their students and the parents. My one area of concern is leadership and teacher turnover in the past two years, but I think part of that is the unrealistic demands and skimpy funding that Arizona teachers face year after year.
The school administration has declined significantly primarily due to the new principal. She is defensive and rigid. Her people skills are terrible. She is non-responsive. Parents and students alike dislike her. As a result, the school has lost many of the best teachers and some teachers who need to improve their skills with the children are not being given feedback. Although a few years ago we moved into this district for the sole purpose of enrolling the children at Simis, we would not send the children back to this school if given the choice again.
The atmosphere of the school is educational. The needs and concerns of the school center around the achievement of the child. Technology is also an inportant part of the curriculum. Faculty and staff have always been more than happy to help, answer questions and advise.
Put frankly, the principal has poor people skills. I've experienced this as a parent. There is little doubt in my mind that the excellent teachers will pursue opportunities at other schools with a more user-friendly administrator.
I have two kids at Simis and they are on a variance. I looked long and hard for a school that had everything I wanted. Simis has everthing I ever wanted in a school--very good scores, art, music, life and community based skills, excellent teachers, parent support, administration that has a great vision for the school and what it can do in terms of scores and programing--to say 'we can do better' and even 'push the envelope' to do more than what has even been expected before. I spend 3 hours a day commuting my kids to Simis--That's because I feel it provides a well rounded educational experience backed by very good scores. It is certainly worth the drive everyday.
Simis is a great community. We heard great things about it being a great all around school and so far we are very pleased. My son loves school and I feel it is a very safe and positive environment for him to be in. There are many experienced teachers at Simis and there are always parents volunteering on campus.
Principal and Assistant Principal refuse to extend any customer service. I noticed they do not respond to 'family' needs in any way ! ! Very disappointing.
My son is on a variance and attends Madison Simis...the past year and a half has been great! Mrs. Belmore is awesome and truly cares about her children. Thanks!
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