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.
I have 2 children that went to Simis one 8 years ago and it was awesome for the oldest child. My second child however a completelly different experience, one of teasing, not understanding homework and dissengaged teachers. Class size not issue as the size was about the same 8 years ago. I think the push for the IB and other programs spreads teachers time thin, they just push kids onto i-ready and computer for learning and testing which is awful. The math instruction is so confusing parents were given a math night traing/presentation and supplemental information on how it is done as the teachers sure do not explain it well in class. There is a saying if it isn't broke don't fix it, not sure why the school's approach to teaching has changed, I don't think Common Core has anything to do with the change in instruction but will explore further, maybe some school board members need the boot.. That said for Phoenix Urban school Madison is good but if comparing to past performance it is declining.
My daughter just finished her first year at Simis (2nd grade). She absolutely thrived. She is a fairly quiet, shy child and after a year at Simis, I've noticed that while she is still quiet and shy, she has so much confidence. She tested into 'gifted' and I've been very pleased to see what that curriculum entails. The principal and the assistant principal have both been very receptive when I've talked to them (and they reply to emails immediately). The school is officially an IB school. While I don't have a strong understanding of how that will impact the children, I do see it as a positive thing. Simis is a big school, and if you want to keep your child in a smaller environment, this may not be the best choice for you. I like that it's big - I've seen my daughter change in a positive way and I believe one reason she's changed is because of the size. She's not living in a bubble. She stands up for herself. She has so many different types of children to interact with and she's found a wonderful group of girls (and boys) that she feels comfortable with and who look out for one another. The families at Simis area very special.
We have had children attending Simis since 2003 and have loved every year of it! The community and parent support is second to none. We are thrilled with the new I.B. curriculum as it really allows students to delve deeper into subjects and see how they inter-relate with other subjects (and the world)! The PTA is excellent and I truly believe you get out of Simis what you give so if you are stand-offish and un-involved you will not get the full experience. Everyone is very welcoming and I wouldn't send my kids anywhere else.
we went to the open house because my son is attending kindergarten in the fall and we were completely impressed by the school. The students seemed to be working on really interesting projects. The principal was very friendly and so were all of the teachers we spoke to. I was also really impressed that they even had an open house. It has been difficult to get a peak into schools that help me make a decision as to where to send my son, but this was very helpful.
I am stunned at the cruel reviews by some parents and their ease with using social media to attack Dr. Flowers anonymously. I have had three children attend Madison Simis and they all have had impressive academic experiences. These same children now attend a charter school (ASA) and were well-prepared academically. Every school has teachers that are superstars and others that are simply competent. At Simis, there are more superstars than I've seen elsewhere. In addition, charter schools rely heavily on parents and the community providing additional financial resources (we're talking $1,800 per child per year), which public district schools such as Simis would be criticized if they did. The reality is that there is insufficient money from the Arizona Legislature funding all public schools, both charter and public district. As a result, all schools have class sizes that are too large. The impact of Simis' IB program on Simis' students can best be summed up with this quote: "If you want people to learn, you have to stimulate their curiosity, get them asking penetrating questions. Make them wonder." (Mel George). IB makes them wonder....it is magical.
Both our son and daughter have gone here. The teachers are fabulous. The administration tough, but then again that is their job. Facilities always kept up well, even when it's a water play day, the right areas are ready for the kids to wreak havoc on the grass and mud. After 9 total years as a Simis parent, I wouldn't have chosen anywhere else.
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.
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