You can plaster a whole school with posters of "Be kind,be respectful,be safe",but it won,t translate to reality if the person in charge who came up with these ideas can,t follow through. If the kids are treated like juvenile delinquents then you miss the goal of fostering kindness and respects amongst them.Most parents that are involved with volunteering do so through events that are sponsored by the PTA and are organized.Who really goes in to see how a day is at this school?Anyone been helping out on the yard?Anyone spent a whole day there?Anyone seen direct interaction between the principal and the kids.Fear of someone does not equal respect.There are some good teachers at the school.You can see the kids run up and hug them,now that does not happen with the principal.There is no space for imagination.Every day there are new rules,more rules ,different rules.Now why are my kids still there you ask.We have been happy with the teachers we,ve had,the kids have good friends,there are kids for anyone to be friends with,doesn,t matter what type of kid you are you,ll be able to find a friend,which has proofed important to our kids .But in order to understand the negative reviews one has to spent more time at the school itself then just the happy carnival or the aution or the walkathon or helping an hour in class
It was bad there I have autism I was bad in math I didn't get help that much it was worse by days the teacher had to remove students I hated Harding with my heart not because I was a student no no no cause drama,they don't help your child trust me I know
We have a second grader at this school who has attended since K. Our child is thriving well here, has made lots of friends, and is progressing well academically. He enjoys his classes and homework and the unfortunately minimal art and music that he gets during school time. The population here is very diverse ethnically and socioeconomically- an ideal environment for my child to grow up knowing how to relate to people from a variety of backgrounds. An incredibly supportive and active parent community and complementary city programs provide a ton of extra care and enrichment to supplement a poorly allocated school district budget. Parents get together to maintain facilities, put on events like the auction and carnival, and through their shared service form bonds that are invaluable to the overall experience at Harding. My personal experience as an active parent volunteer is that the principal and the PTA have a mutually supportive, pragmatically functioning relationship where necessary things get done despite resource issues with the district. I have neither experienced or have been privy to any of the negative issues mentioned in the spring 2015 posts here. We love Harding Elementary so far and are very happy we moved to this district.
Teachers handle conflicts by promoting polite discussion of the issues between conflicting parties. Students "buy in" to a code of conduct that is more or less self identified, ie. "be kind", "keep your hands to yourself", with guidance from the teachers. This code is reinforced daily. The need to cooperate and resolve conflicts peacefully is a strong value that is taught here, unlike the schools I went to in my childhood, where "survival of the fittest" would have been the motto, if there was one at all.
The Harding Elementary School continues to remind the students each year to be honest, have integrity, and to play fair. Each year the students work with the teachers and principal to develop an acronym that the students can remember which reinforces honesty, integrity, and fair play.
The Harding Elementary School is a neighborhood school. The school has an active PTA membership that has teachers and volunteers parents who work to enrich the children’s school experience. The PTA budget is made up of funder raisers and direct donations. The PTA continues to augment the West Contra Cost Unified School District curriculum with additional PTA sponsored Art, Music, Gardening, field trips, and more. There is a niche for each parent to find something in the school that they can help with from the Harding Aftercare School Enrichment Program (HASEP), to organizing and selling the Harding T-shirts and sweatshirts, working on the Spring Auction, helping in the Library, organizing the Chinook Book sale, volunteering as a room parent, to helping with the Fall Carnival. If you provide volunteer time or money, you have the opportunity to improve the environment at Harding for your child and those attending. There are some amazing teachers and some teachers that parents will find fault with. Principal Takimoto is doing a decent job. She inherited a staff of teachers that she is working with to embrace the Common Core Curriculum. She sets expectations, and if you don’t meet them she works with the teachers on improving. There have long term substitute teachers that have thrived with the opportunities and now are teaching full or part time. Harding Elementary School is what you make of it, it is and can continue to be a vibrant local neighborhood public school with involved parents working together to improve the school’s experience for all the children.
I agree with the other parents who have posted concerns about the oppressive administrative climate despite many positives that are present at the school. We too had an experience with the principal who initially acted sympathetic when we shared concerns about our child but her approach ended up being mostly bureaucratic and overall unhelpful. It might be her personality and lack of ability to acknowledge real problems out of anxiety over losing control. She appears to be more concerned about covering up the problem than actually solving it. We were discouraged from speaking up for the sake of our child. We did not want our child to fall out of favor because of our disagreement with the principal, but did not feel good about being quieted. However, I have to disagree with the other parents that the problem is with the principal only. For whatever reason, the overall culture of the school is divisive. Kids are taught to prove themselves in ways that promote negative competition among them. Children do find their own groups but form cliques, which are not friendly to others. I am still trying to figure out what causes this place to be as unfriendly. Bad mojo?