This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Albert Schweitzer Elementary School5
Posted February 28, 2014
- a parent
Probably San Juan Unified's best kept secret! The campus is clean and well-manicured. Strong parent involvement. Excellent teachers. The school's focus on academics with an intergration of the arts. All three of my children attended Schweitzer, oldest graduating from high school this year and the youngest still here. Truly a loving environment, I feel very blessed to have been and still a part of.
Schweitzer is a wonderful school. I am thrilled with my decision to choose Schweitzer for my children. There is a balanced focus on academics, the arts, and character building. The teachers are highly trained, genuine and overall top-notch. Many of the teachers have had their own children attend Schweitzer and are highly invested in the school's continued success. The principal is a strong leader who has the full support of his staff & parents and the students love him. There are many friendly and fun families at Schweitzer.
We had 3 kids attend this school. Our eldest we sent all the way through 5th grade. Was totally unprepared for middle school. Pulled our other 2 out. Our middle child struggled to get the services he needed. No care or support received. Moved him to new school where he has since flourished! Some teachers are good. The principal lacks any true enthusiasm and leadership. Poor quality programs. No accountability by the teachers/principal. Students that may have any learning challenges are passed over and made to feel intrinsically responsible for their inability to learn. Our sons teacher was borderline mentally abusive. Once at new school, he became happy, engaged and started to love learning again! Lots of damage done by this school to our kids.
Schweitzer is a wonderful school. The kindergarten program is fantastic. Ms. Anderson makes every situation a learning situation in her kinder/1st grade class and combines science and math with reading, writing, and critical thinking, as well as art and music. Her ability to teach writing and encourage creativity is great. She also develops their social skills - public speaking, thoughtfulness, etc. Every grade is part of a writers workshop, making learning fun and interesting. This is a workshop school, which really gets kids learning. The new principal is wonderful - out on the playground with the kids, available, approachable, and truly works to see the school thrive. The school offers many programs - band, upper and lower grade play, guitar lessons, chess club, and a variety of community sports and scouts are promoted. Every week the students participate in a school-wide sing that teaches music and builds school community. There are special events at the school - a fall festival, winter breakfast, open houses, and many others. The kids are nice and have great manners at school and in public. Test scores reflect absorption of kids from recently closed nearby schools.
The school overall is great. However, the principal is very hard to read not warm and fuzzy. She is actually very distant and unapproachable. The Kindergarten Program is weak however, Mrs. Taylor a welcomed add on to the program has added a great deal to help strengthen it. 1st grade isv ery strong all three teachers bring something different as far as the children learnign experiences will be. Very Great Ms. Anderson is so creative and will get your children writing. 2nd grade variations in styles but all very strong again it is to find the best fit for your child. 3rd grade two shared contracts great teams. 4th grade higher expectation would suggest one teacher over the other but again it depends on your child. 5th grade strong and 6th Mrs. Stein is Fabulous. Great passion. If your child has special needs however or is advanced must advocate!!!
The parents here are very clicky, but once you connect with a group it is fine. The principal is very hard to read-- very off standish. If there is a problem you will certainly need to advocate for your child. And if your child is advanced or behind there is little opportunity for them to be challenged and you have to work hard to get resources for them. They are weak in the K program,1st/ 2 grade has some exceptional teachers. There are two shared contracts for the 3rd grade they are a great combination. 4th grade transitions into a higher expectation just have to make sure to get the teacher that is the right fit for your child, 5th grade there are exeptional teachers and 6th grade pretty strong. The discipline system is not good as it focuses on control. Some teachers don't use it!!
I'm certain that this is a fine school. But every parent that I know that had a child transfer here has had problems with staff. Nothing major. But you leave thinking that your bothering them. Next year my wife and I will be doubling our effort to avoid whatever it is that happened this year. We have not given up.