This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
North Ranch Elementary School5
Posted November 14, 2014
- a parent
I was sorry to see some negative reviews and they made me a bit nervous prior to school starting. This our first year. However, my daughter has been extremely happy at NR. Therefore, I am happy. So far so good!
This school is wonderful!! I am so saddened by some of the reviews that I am reading here. My kids have loved it here, great principal, great teachers, great honors program, everything is top notch. I am so glad we found this gem of a school.
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+++
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.
I have a child at North Ranch and one at Fireside. Fireside is shiny and new but North Ranch is my favorite. The teachers and staff have been wonderful and there is a huge community spirit between the parents, staff and teachers. The only problem is the pick-up/drop-off can be a headache but without a solution, I am not really complaining too much.
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.