I read all the comments for this school and was shocked at the negative reviews. My daughter and I are rating this school a 5 star school!! Neither of us encountered any negative issues. Everyone was very warm and welcoming at the school and the events. My daughter's teacher was Awesome! Very open with the communication, informative about class assignments as well as my daughters progress in class. My daughter had no complaints about the school or problems with bullying as other parents are claiming happens here. Actually it was quite the opposite. My daughter says she was accepted right away and welcomed by the kids there. The plays/shows were Awesome and my daughter loved being on stage for the performances! Im definitely keeping my daughter here for 3rd grade!! My daughter and I both give the school an excellent rating~! The only suggestion I can make for this school is to have a review done of the drop-off/pick-up areas. However, that congestion problem exists at every school for parents waiting to the last second to get their children to school. Come a few minutes early and there is little to no traffic at all.
The rapid learner classes are still separate from the other classes so the instruction all day does provide that enrichment that you are looking for, the only area of intrgration would be feild trips and some art instruction. I feel this integration is important for the students and the school as a whole. Success is defined by so much more than academics. It is important to show our children how to relate, communicate and make friends with everyone. Having had one child in RL and one in neighborhood classes there is a feeling of superiority of those in RL that is felt by the other children. We have a duty as parents to everything possible to ddevelop their self esteem. If your not happy then leave.
I placed my daughter in this school to be part of the gifted program. In the five years we've been at Deterding, we have seen the rapid learner program decline dramatically due to pressure to make the school more "equal" in instruction. I believe every child deserves to reach his/her highest potential, but the same activities for everyone only make it equal, not fair to students who need different opportunities. There is very little understanding or support from administration or the parents whose kids are not part of the rapid learner program. This creates an anxious school community, and teachers get a lot of pressure to make things equal, taking away opportunities for rapid learners. The end result is classes that lack overall enriched content that rapid learner has been known for in decades past. As gifted education loses funding from the state, it's up to schools to champion the cause for gifted education, and this school doesn't do much to support it. Originally I liked the idea of the arts focus, and that hasn't been a disappointment. The art and music teachers at the school are fantastic, but gifted kids won't find a truly supportive learning environment here.
The Deterding school community is far from being in decline. It's an amazing school with top-notch academics coupled with a unique performing arts program not offered any where else in our district. Don't buy in to anonymous posts. Visit the school, talk to the staff, parents, and students. Some people can only see the negative no matter how positive things really are. It's a shame that some people are just so pathetically miserable and take time to write posts with no factual basis. Take a walk on the brighter side of life! Try being happy and greatful for the tremendous education your children are receiving for a change.
Our principal is one of the most positive, uplifting, and hardest working human beings I have ever encountered. Every school day starts with an inspirational message. She knows and cares about every student. She is at every school event and meeting, starting most days before dawn and leaving late at night. It is a privilege to have such a dedicated and honorable person leading our school. Deterding is a place where the whole child is developed and encouraged. Kids sing songs on their way to class. Creativity and individuality is rewarded. Even the shyest child will get up on stage to perform and be cheered on like a rock star. Deterding is a top-five elementary school in San Juan, including open-enrollment schools. Everyone is expected to participate and programs are open regardless of ability or resources. The community works hard together to make sure that everyone is included and no one is denied. It is sad that some people choose to see only negative when there is so much positive and good happening all around them. Deterding is a wonderful school and has provided a well-balanced elementary school experience for my children.
Deterding is staffed with a group of dedicated teachers, aides, food service workers, office staff, custodians and many others, who care deeply about all the students. What a delight it is to see the children singing and dancing and smiling everywhere they go! The academic program is outstanding and the care taken to make sure each child is challenged to do their very best is evident. The principal is dedicated and hardworking to a fault. Student learning is always the top priority in every decision made, which is sometimes difficult when a few parents have another agenda. Field trips are always a hot point, especially when integration of gate students and neighborhood students is involved. There is an elitist attitude of a handful of parents, but it is only a few. Love this school, the minuses are actually positives in the long run. Just like any family, we work together through the good and tough times, because we all love Deterding.
This school is in serious decline. The principal who has been there two years has created a hostile and negative environment. It is such a shame to see a once great school crumble under poor leadership. Although there are some gems of teachers still there and the arts program is a beam of light, the outspoken caustic nature of many of the other teachers creates a dark and sad environment for our children. We are leaving the school after many committed years.
This school has so many dedicated staff and teachers, I don't know who could say that they are awful and negative. Naturally, people choose different schools for different reasons. That is why a variety exists. It is discouraging to see a few people posting negative things when there are so many of us who feel that it is exactly opposite of what these people are saying. Don't believe the minority who are the sqeaky wheels. Take a look at it, talk to the families and the teachers. Spend a day in a classroom. Look at the awesome programs that exist within this community. The art program is great, the music program is outstanding, the staff care about the childrens future and work after school FOR FREE to tutor. The y are dedicated. It's unlike the other schools I have visited for my children. Take a look for yourself.
Deterding is fabulous. Before making a decision based on reviews full of assumptions, please take a look at the school and staff and what it is really about, instead of taking the word of an anonymous poster on a website.
Our family has been attending Deterding since 2004 and we are very pleased with the teachers, staff, & programs. Deterding places importance on family participation and many of it's successes are a result of teachers going above & beyond and parent volunteers. My boys have excelled each year because the teachers take the time to invest, encourage, & challenge them. I'm looking forward to another awesome school year with children in K & 6th grades :)
Once an exemplary elementary school, Deterding's culture has dramatically declined. The "feel" of the school, compared to '01-08, is lack-luster. There are some very strong parent champions of Deterding, who are involved and work very hard. I want to equally acknowledge those extraordinary teachers at Deterding. The active parent volunteers need more help from Deterding parents. I don't think parents are less willing or too busy. I think Deterding no longer fosters a school community that inspires parent involvement. There have been reports of teachers: yelling in class, inappropriate discipline and language, unprofessional conduct. Administrators have defensively sided with staff. Too many additional issues are overlooked or ignored. Unless you can be a class parent I would advise against enrolling in Deterding until the District is able to help it through this difficult transition. Too often, children believe inappropriate things in class are normal or they are afraid to say anything. Just because they don't say anything is wrong doesn't mean it isn't. Your kids have the right to a good education and to be treated respectfully.
We were at Deterding for two years and I can only pray my grandsons parents choose another school. I participated, I bought way too many supplies still did not feel like we were part of the school at all. The teachers we had were not kind, the staff is rude, with the exception of the custodial and lunch room staff. My grandson isn't the easiest child, but he is bright, but the crude methods of classroom control shut him down,bully free is a joke, it felt like it was Ok to bully of you are a member of one of the preferred families. Every moment I spent there was horrible and that makes me sad. If you are white bread, in the upper ten percent of wage earners and conformity is your way of life Deterding is for you. My grandson is 7 , he stated this,I am quoting "Please don't let them make me go there anymore grandma, no body there likes me, even the adults hate me, they let their kids hit me, I want to disappear." He said this at Christmas it never got better. I never made it in the clique so I can't rate the PTO. While there his GGma died and his mom battled Lymphoma way to support the kid in his hour of need.
In response to the person who accused DART of being a "clique," I'd like to suggest that he or she come to a DART meeting, volunteer at a DART sponsored event, or make recommendations for ways that would help DART reach out to you. DART has always, but especially this year, tried to increase the number of people who contribute ideas and people-power. As a board member I know first hand of the need for more help and typically it's the same generous, hard-working volunteers who show up time after time. So, if you really would like to participate more, there are open arms and ears waiting to receive you. Just FYI -- it's a lot of work, albeit for a good cause, and frequently exhausting. It's only fun if you make it that way.
As a DART board member, I have to take exception with the last commenter. DART is the only fully open parent group at Deterding. You do not have to pay to be a member of DART or be a part of a special class. Our members come from a broad cross section of Deterding s community. Many DART board members are also active members of the Deterding PTA and the two groups work closely together. We welcome anyone and everyone to come to a DART meeting and/or to participate at any of our events. DART meetings are open and fun. Discussion and ideas are encouraged. Every dollar DART raises benefits all students at Deterding. DART raises almost $100,000 every year to pay for teachers salaries (dance teacher, music teacher, and art teacher), field-trips, art supplies, and more. Every year, DART organizes two K-3 Dance Shows, Talent Show & Spaghetti Feed, Arts Auction, Choir & Band Concerts, Art & Music Festival, Missoula Children s Theatre, Santa Breakfast, Shopping Night, Ceramics Workshops, and much more. We send out two newsletters every month asking for participation and help. Please come to our next meeting or speak to a current DART board member to learn more. We would love to meet you!
I have had 3 children at Deterding. Love this school, love the arts, love the parent participation as we need it now with class sizes. I am truely happy here. The only things I have a problem is how "Clicky" the dart board is. Not welcoming, not friendly, I feel like you would have to be "accepted" into their group. The PTA on the other hand is much more new parent friendly. Thank you for that PTA! Something should be said to the Dart circle. It is unatractive!!!
I have 2 students who go to Deterding. One is in the Rapid Learner program and one is not. BOTH of my children have received an excellent, well-rounded education here! They have a full-time art teacher, every 4th grader plays recorder, and every 5th and 6th grader plays a band instrument. There is dance, choir, and great field trips. Our experience with the teachers has been great - we've never had a teacher not listen to our concerns. For the parent, who said there was no science in the lower grades, they were obviously not very aware of what there child was doing as that is clearly not the case! As for the bullying mentioned, my kids have never been bullied and have always felt safe. There is a Bullying program in place and the teachers are all working hard to create a respectful atmosphere. There are some overcrowding issues but the school has been working to address that...including adding a portable exclusively for the music teacher and a new bathroom. As with any school, some teachers are better than others...if the district would just let the great teachers stay instead of moving them around every year, everyone's education would be enhanced!
I am glad I am not the only parent who feels this way about Deterding. The principal, the teachers, the students....it's all so weird there....it's almost like the staff is very secretive...makes me wonder why? I wouldn't trust any teacher to be alone with my child at this school.
DOUBLE TERRIBLE! Bad teachers and bad kids! Some of the kids are good, but the others are not. There are lots of bullyings. I suggest you don't go to Deterding. I strongly suggest teachers to care more about kids who are bullied.
I have had the opportunity to have my children in 3 different schools in this district. One was a complete bust and it took my son 2 years to catch up on his own from what he didn't receive there. The other was very good and I would rate it just below Deterding. Deterding has the Gate program and I have been very pleased with the teaching there. Had I received the same level of education when I was younger I would have surely done better myself.
An honest review: I like to look at things as the glass half full. I have 3 children at Deterding. Deterding does focus on the arts, however, most schools do already have band, choir, music, and art. I dont see that the amount of time spent with these areas matters a bit as long as they do get some. The 2 problems I have had with the teachers is lack of communication and lack of sympathy. The office staff does seem to be a little stand off-ish. I have been involved in the PTA but not the DART team. I have felt uncomfortable around the group that runs DART whereas the PTA is welcoming. The school is overcrowded. The drop off/pick up is quite a hassle. You can't turn into the school going west on Stanley as it's blocked with orange cones. I want to know why our tax dollars are going to someone who all they do is set up and take down cones. Overall, I would say there is not anything special about Deterding that stands out from other schools. There is bullying there. It is crowded. They do have GATE classes. I have seen many other schools who are more successful. Remember, the principal and the teachers are the ones who make the school successful. Again, nothing special.
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