Arcata Elementary is an amazing school. The school has small class sizes, a music teacher, a dance teacher, awesome teachers, and a great after school program right on campus. The school was recently remodeled and updated. AES has also remodeled its garden and connected it with a nature trail as well as added a computer lab and tech teacher. The staff and the PTO work very hard to host events like a Fall Carnival, Bowl of Beans (for MLK Day), an art auction, a talent show, and an environmental fair. Arcata Elementary, and its district, Arcata School District, strive to make the school a positive and safe environment for students to learn.
My daughter (4th grade) comes home at least twice a week telling me that other students in her class tease, intimidate, or say rude/mean things to her (or others in the class). When I speak to her teacher about these things, she tells me that my daughter needs to learn how to ignore the other kids that pick on her. That is not a solution! Ignoring unacceptable behavior does not promote a welcoming or nurturing learning environment! I am tired of being made to feel like my daughter is the one that has a problem when she is surrounded by kids who prey on others to make themselves feel strong. Thank goodness she will be at a new school next year!
I know this is a simplification, but my experience as a 4th grade teacher for the past 8 years is that learning happens best when you combine (1) dedicated and involved parents, (2) curious and well-fed kids on a regular sleep and exercise schedule, and (3) creative, enthusiastic, and professional teachers and administrators. Unfortunately, Arcata Elementary only has about 1 and a half of these ingredients going for them. They have a lot of skilled, nurturing, and enthusiastic teachers and a new principal who tries hard to lead and cultivate a positive and safe learning environment. But, they have dismal parent involvement (only 4 parents of the 22 kids in my daughter's class attended the back to school night event) and many children struggle with a variety of behavioral problems and many more are at least 1 grade level below the grade that they attend. What can this school do to change the parenting the kids receive? Not much. I don't see how it can improve, although I wish things were better.
Arcata Elementary has great teachers and good programs. Seems like every year the site council struggles to keep the classroom aides and art/music/dance programs in place as the district admin doesn't seem to care about those things. I am hopeful the new principal can help keep the school going at top notch.
I have two sons at Arcata Elementary, and I'm confident they are getting the best education available in Humboldt. Other schools may have higher test scores, but they have nothing on the richness of programs Arcata Elementary has to offer. This school has extraordinary teachers and an amazing array of support programs. Arcata Elementary's program is broad and deep, focused on helping my children develop all parts of themselves. The teachers are excellent, highly trained, committed, and enthusiastic. There are dance and music classes, along with fine arts in the classroom. The school counselor is working on friendship skills. A new garden on campus will be supplementing lunches with fresh veggies. The after school program includes physical education, arts and crafts, and service learning opportunities. Also, I love that Arcata Elementary reflects the Arcata community. Humboldt isn't a particularly diverse place, but my kids are getting the benefits of what diversity we have. They have friends from all walks of life, and that's a lift gift you can't measure.
Arcata Elementary School, in my opinion, is the best school in within Humboldt County. The teachers there love what they do and work hard to give their students (our children) the best elearning experience possible. I would recommend this school to any parents looking for a great school for their children to learn amd grow in. My daughter goes to Arcata Elementary qnd she absolutely loves it! I volunteer a couple of days a week so I have had the opportunity to witness first hand how awesome this school is. From the office, to the teachers and aides, to the lunch room staff, after school program, and the custodians; they all take care in all they do. Don't just take my word for it, check it out of yourself!
I woudl say by far this is one of the best schools in Humboldt County. My two children went here and we found the educatoin to be great. The PTA is very involved, there is a high number of extracurricular education, and a rounded education that doesn't focus soley on math and english but also geography, art, and having fun. Great students, great parents. Great special education program. I wish we had a school like this in our area now. It felt like a free private education. HIghly recommend.