My son (2nd grade) has attended NC for almost three years now and loves it. Great after school program at Twin Cities too. We moved here from San Mateo in 2009 specifically so our kids could be in this school district. My only complaint is the student to teacher ratio in the 2nd grade ECP is too high. Fifty kids with only two teachers isn't optimal even though the teachers are excellent. Hopefully with the new Cove School opening next year they will bring the student-to-teacher ratio down to 20:1.
The posters below have hit the nail on the head with this school, far too much enrichment and not enough basics. And the school is continually asking for hand outs, with little to show for your investment. I cannot fault the teachers, they work hard and deliver the best they can, but when you have a small group of loud and rich parents deciding that children need x, y & z at the expense of the basics and the principllaos unable to stand up and declare "this is my school, I'm in charge" then the teachers are fighting a loosing battle. Plus, the sheer amount of upheaval the students are expected to roll along with is absurd - the entire school is being renovated this summer and for a week before the summer recess there was NOTHING in the classrooms. No learning, and this was in addition to the school finishing 2 weeks earlier than others in the area, and not going back until 2 weeks after the others in the area. My opinion - my children were suffering because of this. And more upheaval is coming because of the new Cove school due to open in 2014.
agree w/ most of the comments, there are some wonderful parents and teachers, thought I feel there is too much transitioning and not enough uninterrupted time for the basics, the new school in the district may have different programming. i am part of a parent group looking to public Waldorf for more integration, rigor and developmentally attuned curriculum. if you want more info, let me know here.
I am posting to add perspective. My husband and I sold our beautiful home in Peacock Gap, SR and moved to Larkspur that our daughters will have the opportunity to attend Redwood HS one day. We pulled them out of Glenwood Elementary where they now attend NC. In a nutshell, NC does not hold a candle to Glenwood. NC just does not seem to draw the quality of teachers that Glenwood, Ross, Kentfield, SA etc. do. More importantly, there seems to be an inferiority complex from the parents, feeling the need to measure up to the surrounding area. NC spends entirely too much time on enrichment, and not enough time on core subjects developing the basic educational needs of the children. Instead, the teachers spend the day educating the children on vanishing species of lizards, but do not cover the sum of 54 + 98. Very disappointed. NC certainly does not measure up to the hype, not even close. I would gather my children and run back to Glenwood if I were not bound by invisible district lines.
I m going to pile on to the below post. You nailed it!! I have been waiting to post but not wanting to shake the water. Neil Cummins has become a joke. My son is in his last year and can t wait for him to get out! What he is NOT learning there is unbelievable. My wife spends 2 hours w/him every night, teaching him the stuff a 10 year old SHOULD know. There are a hand full of parents who run the place, and the rest of us plebs get the privilege of donating to every fund raising event that comes along. My head spins how many times this school sticks its hand out. I always donate but I want a RETURN on my investment. That return is to teach my son something useful that he can continue to compete and get into a descent college one day. Neil Cummins seems more concerned with conciliating a group of wanna-be parents trying to keep up with the Jones , then to teach our kids something beneficial.
I attended Neil Cummins way back in the day. I started in Kindergarden in 1992. I was a student who english was a second language. I had the best teachers ever in my life. This school is by far the best you can put your children in. I learned the most at this school then in any other school ive attended. Now i live in San Diego and have a daughter of my own about to enter kindergarden. If i could pick up Neil Cummins and move it here. No school will ever be good enough.
My children have been at Neil Cummins over the last 6 years. I volunteer often. There is a great deal of parental participation, not necessarily just in the classrooms. Core curriculum is fabulous and always evolving. My only concern is that my children don t spend enough time in the classroom being taught reading, writing and arithmetic. While the extra" programs are enriching, there are too many and too much needed class time is spent transitioning/settling into and from extras . If you anticipate your child needing extra help in core areas, plan on a tutor. Teachers are, as you would find anywhere, varying. Most are incredibly dedicated in their approach to teaching. The devotion to their students is unparalleled! There are a handful of teachers who perhaps would be happier elsewhere. Unfortunately they are obvious in their discontent. It spills over into their classrooms. Praents in the know chat. Apparently tenure and unions prevent administration from helping those teachers move onto happier environments. Other staff on campus are equally devoted to the students. It s a very kind atmosphere. With few exceptions, NC a very safe and nurturing environment!!!
My son was brought here on a rescue mission from St. Pat's. He is a new child. He learns more, he is happier, he can't wait to get to school, doesn't want to leave and is delighted to share the hand-on (read: raising chickens, planting gardens, music concerts, multi-cultural dance in pe) with any and all who will listen.
Neil Cummins is a wonderful school with a dedicated and caring staff/administration, and families that make a difference. In fact, parent involvement is amazing. There are countless opportunities to be involved, and the administration is very supportive. The only area of concern for me is the size. The school is K-4 and 700+ students. There are positives to a large community, but also some negatives.
We have been very happy with this school. Our son is in 2nd grade this year. The teachers are dedicated, the parents are super involved, and the atmosphere is excited and energized. I especially appreciate the way the teachers tailor each child's learning within the classroom to challenge faster learners and provide extra support for those who need it. The physical program and music is great, as are library and tech. There aren't many extracurriculars at school itself because the surrounding community is rich in offerings. There is a school-wide emphasis on good behavior, social skills, and personal responsibility.
This school benefits from a strong leadership team that combines a principal who focuses on teachers, academics, county-wide leadership and a vice principal who focuses on community and student contact. The teachers are excellent, and the parent involvement is outstanding. For a large school, the curricum, community and communication are unbelievable.
Neil Cummins is an excellent school. My child was well rounded and ready for High School at graduation. The teachers are mostly very good. Always, a few bad apples.
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