You just have to look at the comment posted on February 14, 2009. It was posted by a teacher at this school.
Don't let this school's high API score fool you. No field trips and no class celebrations are the result of the time spent in class repeating, as opposed to learning concepts. Students review material excessively, to ensure memorization and high scores. There is more to education than satisfying the school administration's self interest. This school needs a change of administration, office staff and purpose.
Dual Immersion Program at this school not 50/50 immersion. Average Spanish teachers. Been there, done that, wasted our time.
Disappointed with the school. Lack of communication. Administrators seem to care less about certain groups of kids. Only school in the district with a history of no field trips and limits on class celebrations.
Forgot to mention, teachers need to dress like teachers. Some teachers show their cleavage which is not appropriate. This needs to be corrected and discussed to all teachers!!!
We are very disappointed with this school. Lack of communication from principal and teachers has been a huge issue. We came mid year from out of state. On the first day of school we were not allowed to walk our children to the classroom or to speak with the teachers. We tried to set up meetings through emails that went unanswered. Went to the front office to set up a time to meet and was instructed to call the class room from the office but, the teachers were not in the classroom(many substitutes at this school for meetings during the school day). Finally when I did get to meet with one teacher(have to this day never met my other child's teacher) by going to the classroom after school was unaware after 3 weeks that my child had IEP! We get no class work, tests even art work sent home EVER. We have no clue how our child is doing until we get the report card home and if your child is not struggling you do not get a parent teacher conference. Everything seems to be taught to the test. One child has never stepped foot in the school library. I would steer clear of this school.
An excellent school with great teachers and principal that work well as a team. I especially like the focus on character and good citizenship.
I love the dual immersion program that my girls are in at Las Animas Elementary school.
My daugher, first grade student in the bilingual program, has fantastic teachers (both in Spanish and English). Parents are extremely involved supporting all kind of activities for the kids and rising funds for different programs. This program is a hidden treasure!
We've enjoyed several years of the Dual Immersion (DI) Program, which I highly recommend. Overall the teachers are really wonderful with only a couple of exceptions. Unfortunately, the principal is generally unavailable (not on campus), and does not respond proactively to complaints of bullying or other problems. The principal does, however, strongly support the DI program, and seems to assign the best teachers there. Parent support and volunteerism is fairly high among the DI classes, but not so much in the mainstream classes. If my children were not in the DI program at Las Animas, I would definitely choose another school. Communication from the front office leaves a lot to be desired, including late nor non-existent newsletters.
This has been a very trying year. My child entered school very prepared, and instead of being challenged I was told to work with him at home (they basically did not have time for him since so much time was placed on students who were below and needed to catch up). In addition every time you turned around the kids were being tested instead of being taught. Science, Social Studies, PE, and Art all took a back seat to what would be covered on the test. My child has told me on a regular basis that he was bored. He was in the DI program, and yes he learned Spanish, but at what cost? My son needs and deserves a well rounded education. We will be attending a new school in the fall. When considering schools, please look at what they really offer.
This is in response to the parent comment dated May 27, 2008. I wish I shared your enthusiasm and outlook on Las Animas. Unfortunately, the Distinguished Award was partly obtained as a result of 'principal...pushes her teachers and kids...' This has come at a great cost, especially to some of the teachers. Have you checked the teacher turnover rate there? You'll be surprised...and the word is, there are more surprises yet to come. Something has got to give....you can't keep pushing and pushing without ending up with negative results, too. I think someone has forgotten that there's much more to teaching than high scores and notoriety. Teachers need support and communication, which are both sadly lacking for some at Las Animas.
I agree with the lackof support for the teachers. My childwent there last year and I left as there was no support for new or teachers that did not necessarily qualify for BITSA and still could have used a lot of support and orgainzation from the principal and district. My child basically wasted a whole year.
Las Animas is a fantastic school with great teachers and a principal that stays very involved. It's a CA Distinguished School and rated 7 out of 10 - the second highest of the District's Elementary Schools. I'm confused as to how someone came up with it being 'the lowest peforming school in the Gilroy School District' when clearly the test scores speak for themselves.
I have multiple children who attend Las Animas School. My children have been challenged academically and have risen to the occasion. I am thankful for the open communication we have with all our teachers. When my husband and I needed advice for my son's frustrating homework habits we approached his teacher who worked with all of us to find a solution. I am happy to report he is doing his homework on his own now! I have found the parent involvement to be outstanding for all my children's classrooms. My husband and I truly recognize how lucky we are to be at a great academic school with such a fantastic community.
Although I've tried to feel comfortable at Las Animas School, I have felt that the Principal does not offer equal opportunity and/or treatment to all the parents and students. Unfortunately, it seems that the parent with the loudest voice and is educated get what they want from the administrator. That is pretty sad!
My daughter has attended this school since kindergarten and is now entering the fifth grade. She has been in the 'dual immersion' program which they offer, and is fluent reading, writing, and speaking Spanish and English. This has been a great school and has given my child the gift of two languages. I highly recommend it!
My kids have been at this school since 2003- at the old campus and now at the new. They are in the Dual Immersion program. I love the DI program. I am amazed how much Spanish they have learned. The principal has always listened to me and been helpful. It has been a very good experience for me and my kids! I would recommend this school (and the DI program) to anyone!!
My son loves going to school each day. He is so excited about learning and loves his teachers. I have noticed a big divide between the enthusiasm of the parents of the Dual Immersion kids, and the parents in the English-only classes. With a couple of exceptions, the majority of volunteers are Dual Immersion parents. And, these are the parents who seem most satisfied with the school. It strikes me as odd that the people who are volunteering the most are complaining the least? If you see a problem in your child's school that needs fixing, don't whine and moan about it. Fix it! Parents have a tremendous power to influence their child's educational experience. Parents also have tremendous power to make a school succeed or fail. Never doubt the power and difference a single individual can make. And, teach that lesson to your child!
I can't say it's been a bad year for my children at Las Animas, we've been very fortunate to have strong, caring teachers for all 3. However, I think the principal is more concerned with leaving her legacy (being a CA Distinguished School) than dealing with the 'now' problems - lack of student discipline & safety, acknowledging parent concerns, supporting playground staff. The building is new but the head administrator is old - time for a change? Who knows? I just hope the good & caring teachers & staff stay.
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