Similar to some other poor reviews, our son has experienced borderline abusive, at best negligent, behavior from some of his past teachers in this school.
His first-grade teacher, for example, berated him regularly, made sarcastic, personal remarks to him frequently, and catastrophized minor behavioral incidents. She also displayed retaliatory behavior by not allowing him to go to the restroom in response to our complaints that he had been physically bullied when going to the restroom unattended. He wet his pants in class due to her not letting him use the restroom all day.
The larger concern is that administration is entirely non-responsive when complaints are filed. I have seen this sort of good-ol-boy, protect-our-own mentality run rampant before. I recognize it immediately as a problem at this school. They have a facade to uphold in order to protect their image above all else, regardless of the impact on the students and their well-being.
It is hit-and-miss at best with teachers. The administration, however, is out of touch and frighteningly unconcerned with valid, serious complaints against their staff. They are quick to deflect blame, and take zero accountability or ownership of what goes on in their school.
Leadership at this school lacks responsiveness to serious issues with their staff. They attempt to evade, avoid and deflect and rarely address concerns with urgency. They are quick to voice concerns, but rarely take ownership.
Many of the teachers lack enthusiasm and a passion for their jobs. While this is the case in many public schools due to poor funding and low salary, Manzanita has been one of the worst. This is especially true when the reality is cast against the backdrop of the image they attempt to uphold online.
Having come from a background in education, I am deeply concerned with what I have seen in this school over the past few years. The administration is more concerned with upholding a certain image than they are improving the quality of their education and staff.
In the most recent example of administrative incompetence, the police were called on my 7-year-old without us being notified. He was interrogated until he was crying without us present. According to one of the school's administrators, they had been having problems over the past few days with him "pinching kids' butts" and rough-housing. We were not notified of this, although we were in consistent email communication with that administrator throughout this time period. Without notifying us, the decision was made to file an incident report and have an officer come to 'make an impression'. Now my 7-year-old son is on record with the Sherrif's department for the above.
This is an example of the Manzanita adminstration's idea of "parent-teacher partnership".
Not only was this traumatic, it was also retaliatory - The administration was retaliating, I believe, because over several days leading up to this I had been voicing my concerns regarding members of their staff, as well as administration's failure to handle situations appropriately.
Our child goofs off from time to time, like most little boys, but this school has succeeded in potentially criminalizing a 7-year-old for horseplay, as well is doing real damage to his self-image through the teachers' and administrations' belittling, neglect and failure to appropriately handle valid concerns with their policy, procedure, and staff.
We complained about our son being bullied by an older child in the restroom. In response, his teacher quit allowing him to use the restroom, resulting in him wetting his pants in class and coming home in someone else's pants.