This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Monte Gardens Elementary School5
Posted December 03, 2014
- a parent
I don't understand the rant about Monte Gardens and the principal, Mrs. Peters. My daughter has had a wonderful experience at Monte Gardens. They have people there who really care. I for one know how hard Susan Peters has been working to make the school a safe environment. There are programs in place to teach students about treating each other with kindness and using the power that everyone has to speak up for oneself and express their feelings in a positive, not hurtful way. (some parents might learn from this) There are students and families from many different cultures. This makes for a warm and rich community. Carnivals and family nights and teachers who truly care. They work hard to provide a full education for our children. I felt lucky to get into this school. There is a wait list to get in, so how bad could it really be?
I've been a parent at Monte Gardens for 4 years now. We have some really great teachers at this school and I'm grateful for that - thus, the 3 star rating. Unfortunately, we seem to be losing the great community for which Monte Gardens was built. We have a fairly new principal that is very unapproachable, demeaning, dismissive and does enforce the tenants on which our school is based. As a result we have a group of disenfranchised parents who no longer want to give of their time and resources in support of our school and principal. We have lost many teachers (5 in just the last year) - we were known for having teachers that never leave. We are trying to force parents to volunteer and still cannot get the volunteers - we used to be known for all our volunteers. We can't get enough donations to support field trips, music, and art programs. The general community and environment that made Monte Garden special is at risk and I can only pray that this doesn't continue to affect our children's educations. I think it's time for change in leadership philosophies and to get "back to basics" at Monte Gardens before we become another lower performing school in the Mt. Diablo school district.
I have to laugh at the parent who feels that Monte Gardens and Susan Peters is "bad, bad, bad" for Spanish families. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! Susan Peters bends over backwards for Spanish families. After all, the school gets more $$ because of all the Spanish Speaking children. It's DISGUSTING! In her monthly recorded phone message, she makes sure to encourage ALL parents, including English speaking, to come to the ELAC (English Learner Advisory Committee) meetings, however, she has NEVER sent out a recorded message about the lice outbreaks. It took a very brave parent to advise me of the lice outbreak that occurred in the school. I am only giving (1) star because I do like the teachers.
I have had children in many different schools over the years, but have never seen a school that has such a horrible environment. Monte Gardens feels more like a prison than a school. Holiday & birthdays are NOT celebrated nor are they allowed to dress up for Halloween. Parents are told at orientation to STAY OUT of the hallways and away from the classrooms. Monte Gardens teachers BENCH students for not doing their homework or not returning Monday Mail folders!!! Even 6 year olds are benched. Parents are lectured if they are caught hanging around near the school because as Peters stated, 'the school needs to be quiet for academic focus???' The drop off lane is like a front line in a war zone with rigid rules and yelling pta. High academic standards, are used as the justification for the horrible environment and why the parents are kept at arms length from their children's education, but the reality is the curriculum is average. Peter's herself is like an army sergeant with a very CHILLY attitude and a hostile combative approach with parents. If you come to her with an issue, you are lectured to comply with school policy & rules or threatened with removal.
I have a daughter now in her 5th year at MG. Since we are surrounded by underperforming schools I can't help but wonder why the district doesn't implement additional schools to follow the MG program. I am convinced the higher scores are a combination of parental involvement, great teachers and a more demanding cirriculum.
Dedicated teachers that really care about their students. I have a daughter that went through and is now at Sequoia Middle and a son who is currently in third grade. Parent involvement is mandatory and one of the reasons why MG is so successful. Keep up the great work!!
Great Teachers. Lot of parents participation. Excellent principal who is always looking for ways to improve students academically. Good atmosphere for kids. It is amazing how they have been able to maintain such a high start school test rating in spite of having kids from different background from all over the surrounding area attending the school. Kudos to the Teachers and staff...
Great School... lots of parent involvement which makes this school special... Teachers are dedicated and the principal is leading them in the right direction. They are adding a new computer lab which should help the kids going forward. I am confidant that they will maintain this high standard in coming years...
The best thing about this school is the level of parental involvement; if it wasn't for the parent volunteers, there would be no PE or motor skills programs, and no help for the teachers. The teachers my son was lucky enough to get were great. Unfortunately, the new principal did a lousy job dealing with a teacher who was unable to meet the demands of her job (she basically left it up to the other teachers and parent volunteers all year to make up for this teacher's inadequacies, then fired the teacher 2 weeks before the end of the school year). Furthermore, the principal was not even-handed in dealing out discipline, and when she called me to discuss my child's behavior, she was very condescending. Even when the school was being threatened with closure, she did not support the parent club's efforts to keep it open.