Going downhill fast!! When we started at North Ranch several years ago you could tell it was on the downturn from it's glory days but the school had a culture that I felt worked for my kids. Well the small school culture has backfired and my child has been bullied for the last 2 years and since there are only 2 classes per grade level she cannot get away from it. The school has done little to help the situation. in fact for the upcoming school year they put the bully into the good classroom and gave my child the nasty teacher. Thanks for nothing North Ranch. While there are some wonderful teachers here many are not. The school has been catering to the "gifted" children over the last 2 years and that theme is getting much stronger. If you have a "regular" child this is not the school for you. There is a PTA (there almost wasn't) but they really do nothing. I rarely see any of them at school functions or volunteering to help at the school. I honestly couldn't even tell you what they do. When even the PTA board does not want to be involved with the school I think that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
The self contained gifted program has been a disappointment. Even though there actually was a teacher this past year (no teacher the year before) the kids played computer games for math. Integration of technology is needed but not at the expense of actual instruction (I taught gifted 7-12th graders math for 4 years. I also attended a gifted program as a child. This school's program has not been competitive). The promised curriculum of Junior Great Books and College of William and Mary was not followed and the homework had very little academic value or relevance. The gifted teacher did not have any previous gifted classroom experience and did not have a gifted endorsement even though PVUSD advertises all of their gifted teachers hold the endorsement. We have heard that the other gifted teachers here are experienced, mentally stable and genuinely good teachers, which is why we stuck around. The positives are the P.E. and Music teachers & Community Ed programs. To other posters- If you have a different opinion, then state it without resorting to actual personal attacks against other posters. Everyone has a different experience. GreatSchools asks for leadership ratings.
NR is a very strong small school on so many levels. Why some have taken a personal attack on the principal is surprising & may be a better reflection of the writers! We have had many wonderful interactions w/Dr Hartley...even when having to address our child being called in for behavior issues! We have learned over the last five years however, that every child has different needs in the classroom. We have 3rd and 5th grade students. They have been at NR the entire time. We have had great years and some just okay years depending on our children's needs & the particular teacher they had at the time. Parent involvement is important DEPENDING on your child and their individual needs. Some years we have needed to be more involved or less. The Self Contained Gifted Programs are outstanding. Again, depending on the child and their 'fit' into the program will impact on whether it is the program for your child or not! Teachers try to 'differentiate' whenever possible but as in ALL schools, when you have 20-35 kids in a class, there is only so much a teacher can do! We are excited for the next four years at NR and LOVE being a part of The Ranch Family! A Very Happy NR Parent! A+++
The kids and parents are nice at this school. The administration lacks leadership, community building and drive to improve education. Some teachers are good, some are bad, really bad and should not be teachers. Be ready to send your child to Kumon and tutors to make up for lack of instruction. Administration is very hostile towards parents. So, if you are looking for a school to get involved with, this is not it. Be careful if you choose this school. However, the aftercare program (Wrangler Club) is wonderful. Too bad the school can't learn from Wrangler Club about how to be professional, respectful and caring towards kids. The specials teachers are also really good. But, the school building is old and dirty.
We LOVE this school. Great teachers and great families. It's unfortunate that some of these reviews seem more like personal attacks on Dr. Hartley. School isn't a babysitting service and your child's education starts in the home. Take responsibility and get involved.
This school is clearly over rated. This is my child's first year attending NRE and it has been nothing but a disappointment. If it wasn't for my child's excellent teacher, this school would deserve an even worse rating. This school's biggest failure is the hiring of Principal Hartley. She has not been doing an adequate job leading this school. Instead, she is making poor choices to improve the school environment rather than improve the academic quality of the school. For example, the decision to change school release has gone from bad to worse. Not only are kids being released like its a stampede but parents are banned from the front office. Its unsafe. The school has no right to turn parents away from picking up their child inside. if it is a noise issue, then all that is needed is for staff to respectfully tell parents to lower it down. Its not that difficult. Luckily, the weather is nice enough to wait outside. The other issue is Dr Hartley making certain parking areas "illegal" when there is no fire lane and no signs enforced by the city of Scottsdale. Where is the code that states no parking? Your "police" presence is getting old.
Disappointed. I chose this school due to the raving reviews .We almost lost the PTA entirely this year due to a lack of involvement and zero interest from the parents to volunteer for the crucial positions (or even simple ones) . The 12th hour, it turned around, however, having a Board doesn't make the involvement happen. It's hard to feel welcomed in this school. The past year has seen many militant-feeling procedures regarding dropping off or picking up your children. Parents DO NOT feel welcomed when coming into the school - especially at pick up. The new POLICY does not allow us even to enter the building whatsoever to pick up a child (will be blazingly hot soon). The kids are instead released directly out of one of two outside gates. Not safe, Not practical. We end have to re-enter, sign in, just to pick up a form or have my child use the restroom before we leave. Logistically a nightmare I never expected. Some teachers are peaches, others could care a less, and have no interest in communicating with parents. I'm currently in this group. Still, my child enjoys it here, but then again, he would likely thrive at other schools. Don't go by the "AAA+++" ratings alone.
If your child has any special needs, is in special education or is not considered "gifted" DO NOT sent Your child to this school or any other PV district school. The principal and district staff do not have the needs of all children at heart only thier favorites or "exceptionals". The pricncipal thinks she is some kind of star and only aknowledges those families and children she likes or approves of. If your child is not considered "normal" or a "robot" they will be overlooked and even worse treated unfairly.
Great experience so far with Ms. Castellano and Ms.Shea. Excellent educators who keep the children motivated.
I agree that North Ranch is a tremendous school for students and families. That concept began when the school opened as the staff and parents agreed to make it happen the first year. The first event held was an open house followed by a family picnic in the nearby park. From that point on, learning was an interactive experience among the students, parents and staff - a tradition upheld to this very day. Jim Dewalt, first principal of North Ranch.
A++ School! Wonderful teacher & staff. We are proud to be members of the North Ranch family!
We have been a North Ranch family since 2007. We left Copper Canyon because the smaller campus environment is exactly what our children needed. The principal and the staff welcomed us and consistently have provided an outstanding academic and social environment for our children. The principal is amazing, the teachers and staff are amazing, and the mascot club staff members are amazing. We love being a North Ranch family!!
My kids have been attending North Ranch since 2007. I have a son in 6th grade and a daughter in 3rd. Each of them have been consistently excelling every year. If they fall short in an area I am notified and provided the background needed to help them. The school and it's staff are open and easy to talk too. They take the kids education seriously as well as provide an equal and fair surrounding. No bullying is tolerated. I like that. I would recommend North Ranch and do.
North Ranch provides an outstanding learning environment for my daughter. The teachers and staff are caring and work hard to meet the needs of all of the students. I greatly appreciated the fact that her academic and social needs are taken into consideration. As a gifted student she was often unchallenged and bored in her previous school, this was not the case at North Ranch. Extension opportunities are provided in many subject areas allowing her to remain excited and motivated. I recommend "The Ranch" to everyone! It is a great school!
Our child has attended North Ranch Elementary School since Kindergarten and is now almost finished with sixth grade. We'll miss this school. The overall experience has been excellent, especially as far as public schools go. No school is perfect, of course, but this has been a place where community was reasonably tight-knit; the PTA was mostly active and helpful; the principal and office staff were open, friendly and responsive; and the teachers worked hard to do right by the kids. Over the years, we've seen some less than stellar reviews written here, but they must be taken with a grain of salt; most parents are very pleased with the school and the education offered. In 7 years there, and knowing MANY other families and students from North Ranch, we feel comfortable recommending it highly.
My son has attended North Ranch for 6 years and my daughter for 4 years. I love the fact that this is a small elementary school and that everyone from teachers, parents, and office staff are engaged in every child's well being. We have not experienced a significant problem with any teacher or the principal. The principal knows the kids' names and greets them in the hallway.
I despise the fact they refer to the principal as "THE QUEEN". She should be addressed properly as Dr. Hartley and nothing else. My student had 50 missing/late assignments and was never informed until the report card came. Teachers only seem to care if your student excels at what he or she does. Those students who need a bit of extra help or time. This school is no better than any other school in the district. Seems they need to concentrate their funds on items that are important & not for fun. Do these students really need iPads to use? NO.
I was very happy about the school until a new honor teacher was joined,the staff at the front desk is so great,other teachers that I know of them are good.But the new honor teacher is wasting the time in the class by showing the you tube videos according to the report from my child.
My son has been at North Ranch for 2 years. The teachers have been attentive, enthusiastic and have high expectations for the kids. The school places an emphasis on treating each other with respect and kindness. We couldn't ask for more.
Education is important but so are other values that you hope are to be demonstrated by teachers and staff. We have experienced instances several times where we were assured one thing by the principal and staff to find out it was not actually being done as we were told. To put your mind at ease, be prepared to actually pop in and observe. Especially in special classes and lunch. For most kids this is probably an ok school. However, if your child needs even a little special accomodation, be careful since sometimes things seem too good to be true.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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