This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Madison Elementary School3
Posted March 23, 2013
- a parent
I have been volunteering in the classrooms and with PTA at Madison for almost ten years now and I have seen many changes over the years but none quite so dramatic as the last 3. Mr. Duenas the principal, is unapproachable, inaccessible, and absolutely unresponsive to e-mails and phone calls. He brought with him an inner city approach to a neighborhood school. There is absolutely no discipline and his earrings are disgraceful and inappropriate for a principal. The previous review mentions the 2nd grade PALS teacher - I too have had one of my children in her class and she is a good teacher. My only complaint is that she doesn't teach so that the children retain knowledge, but rather to make herself look good. She also is far too chummy with the principal which would explain why she is now the 2nd grade PALS teacher. I miss the heyday of Madison where the principal was top notch, the students were disciplined accordingly, and the teachers did not have to look over their shoulders to see what other illogical move the principal/2nd grade PALS teacher has in store.
We have been a part of the Madison Mustang family for over 50 years. My sibling and I are both graduates, my oldest daughter promoted to middle school from Madison, and my youngest is currently in the PALS program. I believe I can offer a fair , accurate, and longitudinal assessment of why Madison classifies as a GREAT school. The Madison teaching staff is phenomenal. Many of the staff have been teaching for decades and yet they have not lost that "fire" and "passion" for guiding and educating children in the formative years. Without exception, each and every K-5 Madison teacher my daughters have had (both GATE and NON- GATE) have been exceptional. My daughter's current 2nd grade PALS teacher makes learning fun by infusing creative lesson plans and curriculum that inspires young minds to learn. I have found Principal Duenas to be very accessible, plugged in, and knowledgeable. The PTA President is very energetic and has championed innovative events for children and parents. I am not a lone voice. When I asked my neighbor her opinion about our school, she said enthusiastically, "I LOVE Madison!" I echo and underscore her response wholeheartedly!
Mr. Duenas appears to be using this assignment as a stepping stone. Doesn't put too much into the job compared to the last principal. Did not make a great impresion with his ghetto bling ear-rings. Teachers are strong union employees, who will not do more than they have to. The kids say they can tell the GATE classes are treated better by the staff, like the last musical-GATE in the center with the spotlight, could not see some of the kids. The parents from the neighborhood seem to make this a good school, too bad Lakewood doesn't have it's own school system.
The only reason this school gets a 2 is because they have a music program. I'm not sure if it's just lbusd or madison in general, but the education my daugher is receiving is a joke. She's in 4th grade and did this math and language arts 2 years ago in another district. Furthermore, the teacher, school and district have not taken my requests to challenge her seriously and I have been going round and round with them for two months. What a sad waste of an intelligent young lady as she has NEVER before told me she hates school...my daughter has always loved school but for lack of a better term, she's bored out of her mind.
Madison is a great school on paper, but has much room for improvement. Test scores are high, but there is much more to look at in a school than that. Madison's staff is not a very welcoming bunch. The school does what is required but does not go over and beyond. If your child is an over achiever or under achiever they will get priority with teachers and support. Madison is not a bad school, but not better than the surrounding schools as test scores would imply. One positive about the school is the children. My experience with having my children at Madison is that they have made very nice, respectful, and kind friends. I give more praise to the parents who send their children to Madison than to the principal and his staff.
Congratulations to MADISON for their API Score of 895 (9-point increase from 2010). Little by little with all of us working together, we have made this school better each year. Our principal Mr.Duenas has become more involved and more dedicated to make our school succeed. My kids love coming to Madison, they are eager to be in school and learn new things everyday.
I have two children that attend Madison Elementary. I would like to say that the teachers are excellent, and always keep me informed of the progress of my children, the principle is amazing and I am so happy to have my kids attend this great school. Both of my children enjoy going to school and are thriving here. I am very happy to have found a wonderful school that is giving a great education to my children.
I just love this school's diversity. There is a good mix of local and non-neighborhood kids. The socio-economic and cultural backgrounds of the students are diverse, but they get along and do well academically. The teachers are top-notched and experienced. The afterschool care provided by the district is safe and reliable. This school is not snobby and has an involved, caring parents.