Otis has been great for both of my kids. I had one child who was in GATE and one who gets special education support, so we've experienced how the school works for two very different children. My academically successful child had advanced reading and math and I always felt that the curriculum was adequately challenging. The support that my more academically challenged child is receiving is phenomenal. The classroom teacher goes way above and beyond in providing help, and special ed provides several hours a week of general one-on-one help, social skills, and OT. It's overcrowded so space is an issue, but kids don't get lost in the shuffle. The parent community is highly involved and a lot of fun. It's a great community of people and a great school.
Otis is a warm community school with a REALLY high level of parent involvement. The community at the school is a bit quirky and you can definitely feel the unique culture at Otis. The PTA funds field trips, classroom supplies and buys technology for student use. Dr. Clem does an amazing amount with the few resources the district gives her and motivates the school community to make up the difference. My children have had teachers who work hard to provide an education for them. I can't say that all of the teachers are innovative but they are still effective at their craft and care a lot about the students. It is overcrowded but the staff does a good job in managing that.
We are half way through our tenure at Otis and would definitively say that the school has exceeded all of our expectations. Our son has been fortunate in that each of his K-2 teachers have been an excellent "fit" for him. And after the first week, we are equally pleased with his 3rd grade teacher. We love the diversity, a strong and passionate school principal, the stunning amount of parent involvement and volunteerism, the many school traditions and events (ranging from Art a la Mode to Walkathon to Gingerbread House to Fall Carnival), and excellent school-parent communications (weekly e-newsletter and principal-parent-student assembly). Our neighborhood school has given us the opportunity to meet and befriend so many of our neighbors -- a true community resource.
Otis has an amazing principal and a wonderful parent community, and many wonderful caring teachers. A few are tired and need to retire, and sometimes the approach to education is very traditional, and not terribly inspiring to kids, but that's probably true almost everywhere today in our test-driven system. We feel very lucky to be part of the diversity and great education at Otis. My son is in first grade and has learned an amazing amount here, and overall we are very happy.