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.
My child attended from K-4 but I was unhappy the whole time with the administration. Dr. Flowers is absolutely horrible. She sets the tone of the school which was rather blas . She was curt and secretive and enjoys hiding in her office. She is not very supportive of PATS which is such a shame because they are the ones who are on campus and friendly to other parents and visitors. My child had 5 teachers at Simis. Two were fantastic, two very good and one not so good. I was a retired teacher and was there a lot helping out as homeroom parent and classroom volunteer. Music and art were great , PE was very week. She was not prepared for middle school. My child and many other Simis students attend Arizona School for the Arts where the middle schoolers have voice and an instrument or ballet 5 days a weekend piano 3 times per week as well a a high level of academics and a Life Skills class. After school tutoring for an hour each day is free. My child participates in an after school program in drama. All after school programs are run by their very qualified staff. (Simis hires others to do special after school programs and receives a financial kick back from those who teach.)
My kids are thriving at Madison Simis. They both look forward to school. Despite the size of the school there is a sense of community. The International Baccalaureate program has helped my kids to learn and understand about different cultures, people and ideas. The testing that some complain about helps teachers see if children need extra help. One of mine did and was given the help she needed. This brought her to the top of her class. The teachers really do their job, covering a lot of ground at school instead of loading them down with homework. I also love that the children get to walk across the tree lined campus between classes. love this school.
This is our neighborhood school and I wanted to like it but I agree with a lot of the people on here that the principal just seemed really cold and not that informative. She gave a power point presentation on their International Baccalaureate Application Status but never really described or talked about what exactly it meant to the students, or what it really is. It seemed all about impressing in a very abstract way. The school looks like a prison and there are 200 kindergarteners!!!! And they all eat lunch at the same time, recess at the same time. Seemed overwhelming. The art room looked incredibly sterile but the music room looked really fun and the kids seemed to be having fun. We also saw two different kinds of testing going on which was very depressing. So much testing of kids and yet it doesn't seem that their education is getting better. Needless to say, we will hopefully find a better option for our child.
7 years ago this school was good compared to other Arizona schools (which is not saying much). They still ride that wave and fail to mention in the past several years most of the teachers have quit or turned over, the vice principle keeps turning over because the principle is a nightmare to work with. The classes are way over crowded with brand new teachers. Dr.Flowers focuses so much on test scores that she rewards teachers who get the highest scores with giving them the "top" students, so if you don't have a "top" student they are just dumped into the over crowded class with all the struggling students...this is why teachers quit and there is a large turnover at this school. It really is sad to me that a school we once loved has been run into a ditch. We pulled our kids out a couple years ago and put them in a charter school and they were so far behind their min standards, but after 2 years they are both excelling. This is proof that when schools focus more on educating our kids and less on the politics of education it works. I would never recommend this school as long as Dr. Flowers is in command. There are WAY better alternatives if you want your child to succeed.
This is no longer a neighborhood school. Most of the kids are bused in and the administration has continued to keep "advertising" for more kids to open enroll. This is a school that has over 1000 kids, no full time school counselor and asks parents to bring in cleaning supplies because there is "no money". Everytime we turned around they were sending home a "flyer" (x1000+ students) asking for more money. The helicopter moms run the school and the principal is as cold as ice. The chaos is nauseating. If you ever need anything good luck finding out who you need to talk to. There is more administrative staff than you have ever seen, but apprently all they are good at is pointing their finger at someone else because it is "their job". We took our kids out after getting no where with this school. The people praising it have obviously do not have very high standards because outside the "simis" bubble, the reputation in the community is crazy parents and way too many kids. Good luck sending your child to this school!
Excellent teachers, and Principal. All are very dedicated, and they all do a tremendous and wonderful work for our kids. I had my son at Simis 3 years ago, who did amazing and still have my daughter in 3rd grade who also does amazing. If you want to choose an Elementary school for your child, then this is it!
My son loves Simis after attending MTA previously. Great teachers, great special events, and a great drop-off routine in the morning. All of the staff that I have met so far are outstanding and dedicated, and my child just completed a successful semester with great grades. Very happy with Simis!
My Daughter and we love Madison Simis because it is one of the best schools in the State and recognized internationally with excelent Teachers Principal and Staff . She is been preschool and now attends third grade. Was the best choice for you education. Thank you so much Madison Simis :)
Excellent school with top teachers and a very, very dedicated Principal. Madison Simis suffers from a lack of funding like most public schools in AZ, and increasing class sizes. Notwithstanding, my daughter is receiving an excellent education, and we remain committed to the school. Simis retains strong art, music, and PE programs, and these are the highlight of my child's day. Furthermore, Simis parents tend to be passionate about the institution, and there is a strong Parent/Teacher organization. Simis is not a school for academically marginal students, as teachers tends to move at a brisk pace. In fact, it would be easy for less capable students to be lost in the shuffle. There are also quite a few negative comments posted about Dr. Flowers, the principal. As a rebuttal, we find her to be a highly educated/intelligent administrator with a keen eye for data. Furthermore, she is exceptionally generous with her time, responsive, and has a refreshing "tell it like it is" attitude. Likewise, many teachers have similarly high levels of dedication.
My daughter has attended Simis through kindergarten and is now finishing 1st grade with Ms Atkinson (an extraordinary and exemplary teacher). As a family, choosing the right elementary school and understanding the parental involvement has been a learning process. At Simis, everyone from the front desk staff, principal, teachers, cafeteria staff, gate personell, all the way to the staff and volunteers that help direct traffic, have been nothing less that excellent.The school r eally does go above and beyond to maximize the student's experience. Our daughter has needed extra help with reading, and the appropriate testing was offered and they determined she was having a slight challenge in processing information. The teachers are working together to help her with this, which is very impressive. One of the aspects that has really impressed us, is how the school applies and encourages good behavior. The school is proactive with an anti-bullying initiative, and students are respectful with one another. The parental involvement is incredible, and we have learned the importance of it and that the learning process of our children is a collaborative endeavor.
Sometimes it's better to say nothing at all... I will NOT be sending my child to this school next year.
I was reading the comments and had to post. To the parent who gave the poor review from December 6, you are not including all the details. You forgot to mention that your child was a huge behavior issue! You failed to mention you moved your child to another Madison school and you are also having behavior issues at that school. Stop blaming the teachers for your issues. Instead realize that YOU and YOUR SON are the issues!!!!
My child has been attending Simis since Kindergarten and is currently in 2nd grade. Our experience has been great since attending. Reading some of the reviews, I question what exactly the parents are look for. Not sure if they had done their research when looking for schools, but it is very ugly at many of the other elementary schools. We had very high expectations especially since our older children went to private school. At Simis, we have seen the consistence of learning between the grades which is what children need. I have no problem with the LEAP program. It is a tool to ensure those who are struggling with reading can get individual attention and not get lost among those who are reading above grade level. Parents must understand it does not fall on just teachers, but the parents as well. My child's teacher get frustrated because parents do not have the children complete their homework packet. Our children education is based on a triange; parent, teacher and child. Become involved. It is your child's education. The principal is awesome. The only complaint I have is the IB program. Not a fan of it, but will wait and see. Our child loves Simis and so do we.
My son is currently attending 1st Grade at Madison Simis and I have had a very unpleasant experience there. The teacher never sends home work that he has done in class (or any other graded work, for that matter. PLENTY OF FLYERS THOUGH!) and although he has tested into the gifted class, is having to split his time between that class and a regular class. Furthermore, I requested to have his weekly spelling tests after they are graded be sent home so that I can reward him when he gets a hundred percent and the teacher can't seem to accomadate this. After having contacted the principle, I'm finding that they are not working towards having the teacher send home any papers but, rather, are blaming me for his frustrations at school. I am hoping he will get into the Great Hearts Acadamy next year, because I dread what next year would be like if I kept him at this school.
Started off strong, but the more I get to know the school, and the more I learn about their priorities, the less I like. They have instituted a magnet program for IB, which is just advertising and has not positively affected my child at all. Warning, they have also started a program where they "track" students in reading. They call is LEAP, but it's really a way to isolate students into low, medium, and high groups to push their scores. My child is in a high group, but I if they struggled in reading I would have a real issue with this practice. Is just another clue to me what's important here. We'll be searching elsewhere after this year and probably go to Peoria.
I guess you always get the good with the bad on these reviews. I hope anyone reading these knows that your kid's school is what you make of it, and if you can start with a school that has such a solid foundation and amazing track record - all the better. My two daughters have attended Simis for two years. One is just about to go on to 5th grade in another Madison school because I can't imagine them going ANYWHERE else! I've never had a bad run in with any teachers, staff, or the principle, and I could probably be considered that 'annoying' parent who likes to always know what's going on and how my child is doing. They have always handled my inquiries very well and always to my satisfaction. In fact, I really love how well my children and I have been treated here, and when I meet with other out of district parents, they are always impressed by how well my girls are doing compared to theirs. I've even got a few considering moving just to come to Madison, lol. In short, no school is perfect, but my girls are happy and healthy, I'm pleased with their progress, and I hope new parents can look beyond the crabby Abby's below to consider this amazing school. You won't regret it.
I have had one child attend Madison Simis for the last two years. She transferred from another system of education so there were a lot of adjustments to get her on track in 3rd grade. In 4th grade she experienced some health problems and surgery that kept her out of school for a considerable time. The school accommodated her unique needs incredibly well. Her teachers Ms. Hoon and Ms. Smalley and the entire support system were engaged, professional, skilled, very accessible, helpful, compassionate and caring. They have high expectations for themselves, their students and in the midst of it all she thrived. It is an excellent school and our child has done extremely well. Madison Simis s seasoned, experienced, flexible teachers, entire staff and community contribute to what makes this school so special. Dr. Flowers is a very accessible principal who seems to work hard to continually improve the school. The front office staff is excellent and always helpful. The level of parent involvement is astonishing. New parents and children are welcomed and included warmly and it has been very rewarding to watch the children grow, interact and learn together within the Simis community.
I was so turned off by Dr. Flowers that we decided against having our child start attend kindergarten next year, even though we have family members attending now. At both the school tour and the kindergarten round-up she really rubbed me the wrong way. Going on and on and on about out of district kids needing to take the bus was an unbelievable waste of time and then putting down the half day program over was frankly disturbing. At the round-up when the question of whether they had the interest level to include the half day K she actually said (and this is almost verbatim) Yes, but I would like to caution you that every one of our full day K students is reading at great level but 10 out of 40 in half day are not. Shouldn't that WORRY them and not us? What a slam on the half day teacher and does she realize the interpretation of that is if you don't pay for full day K you are putting your child at risk for falling behind. What a guilt trip! We are overlooking ease, familiarity and positive feedback from parents because I cannot wrap my mind around the principals condescending attitude. I am thrilled with our charter school choice and Simis needs to realize there are other options.
My two kids went to Simis and as a family we cannot say enough great things about the teachers and leadership of the school. Both my kids thrived at Simis. From top to bottom, everyone cares about the well being of the students. There is a place for working and non-working parents to be involved. It is the overwhelming parental involvement that makes Simis such a great school. These parents understand that it takes a village to raise an excelling school!
Madison Simis is the flagship school of the District and the entire staff and community contribute to what makes this school so special. Dr. Flowers is a very accessible principal who works hard to continually improve the school. The school is currently going through the IB application process and it is an excellent fit for the school. My kids have and will be moving to the middle school so will not reap the benefits of the IB program at Simis. I really wish Simis was a K-8 school. I love the community, the teachers and the entire staff. I will miss the wonderful sense of community you feel when you are an involved parent helping the children, the teachers and the staff and community. The PTO works hard and longs for greater involvement from working and non-working parents. The PTO does a lot to make the teachers and staff feel appreciated at Simis. Simis also has an amazing gardening program that is organized and run by all parent volunteers. The gardening program is integrated into the child's grade level curriculum and every grade gets the opportunity to grow in the garden. My 6th grader still misses Simis - it is a great school!
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