Susan Condio-Hernandez, June 28, 2013
During the 2011-2012 school year, our teachers were involved in alot of professional development with respect to differentiated instruction, writing strategies, the new ELD curriculum, and the ELD strategies to mention. During the 2012-2013 school year, our highly dedicated teachers have been involved with ongoing data analysis of our students to close the achievement gap so that more children are proficient and advanced. Despite our economic woes throughout the state of California, the Meadows staff continues to demonstrate professionalism and a strong work ethic to ensure that every student excels at our school. It is an honor and a pleasure to work along side dedicated professionals at our school. During the 2013-2014 school year, our K-3 classes will have 28 students. Our kindergarten classes will be extended fifteen minutes daily commencing in the Fall 2013. The kindergarten day will begin at 8:15 AM and end at 11:50 AM. Each day, a group of kindergarten students will stay until 1:15 PM to receive additional academic support at our school. We are excited about extending our kindergarten day for the upcoming school year. Our school is an outstanding school with a highly dedicated staff, wonderful parents, and great children! Our school has the highest test scores in MIllbrae (API 912). Our Meadows PTA has worked hand in hand to provide us with the necessary "tools" for our children to succeed academically. Our PTA has purchased 9 SMART Boards this spring 2013. Our parents have donated monies to support our children received a world class education equal if not better than a private school education. Now ALL classrooms will have a SMART Board in it. We are working together to support more updated technology in our classrooms to enhance the teaching and learning process so that our children will be at the top as 21st century learners. Our dedicated staff is involved in extensive professional development this summer (on their own time) along with me to continue our professional learning as lifelong learners with respect to the new Common Core State Standards which will take effect in 2014-2015 throughout our country. It is an exciting time to be in education with the new Common Core State Standards just around the corner.
I can't say enough about the wonderful staff and volunteers that make our school such a safe learning environment!!! The teachers come in on the weekends and stay late after school because they are so dedicated to their students. I am a proud parent and volunteer!!!
My child has been attending Meadows for several years now. Given the lack of state funding the teachers do the best they can with what they have. There are some wonderful teachers here. Schools are not like they were 20 years ago. They now rely on enormous amounts of financial and volunteer support from the families. I agree, that unfortunately that seems to come from the same small group of families. Parent involvement is low and it affects the school. I also see the lack of flexibility in the classroom. They are definitely driven to get their school Star Test number up. They truly teach to the test and if your child isn't keeping up then they're quick to point you in the way of having your child evaluated. I have heard that many of the children do go to tutoring classes like Kumon and the like, so if you're just sending your child to school to learn, expect to put in a lot of extra work yourself. It makes it seem like your child is falling behind when they're not. I don't think the teachers have the time or the help to let each child be an individual in many cases. I continue with Meadows because overall I know my son is getting a great education with caring teachers.
Like many have said, California public schools have been hit hard by budget cuts and sadly, it's impossible to say that Meadows has been unaffected. The student to teacher ratio is now at least 1:30 (our child's Kindergarten class started the year with a 1:32 ratio with only one teacher and limited classroom assistance). The day is very short, just 8:15 to 11:30 everyday and the classroom work & homework seems to be mostly from state-issued workbooks. Additionally, donations and funding seem to be a big problem, with a remarkably small percentage of families donating compared to other school districts (and sometimes it's just the same families donating over and over). Compared to Burlingame, Belmont, San Carlos, etc, Meadows has a much lower amount of privately donated funding. Meadows does have good test score results and the principle is fabulous, she has truly performed a miracle in still be able to provide the basics to the students while keeping tests scores high. But tests aren't everything....sadly I feel that even a formerly good school like Meadows is not immune to the California economic debacle and we will be enrolling in private school next year.
Meadows is a school with a great community of parents and students, with a very hard-working principal. The classrooms are no exception to the over crowded, under funded rule. All of California's schools are a victim of that situation. What makes Meadows stand out is the dedication of the principal and PTA in overcoming that issue. Sadly, the state budget cuts mean some sacrifices: large class size, no library, art, music, and very little PE or Computer. However, the school does the best it can. They offer sports, art and music after school. They are starting a chess club. The school does a lot of enrichment activities during school (Lunar New Year Activities, Spirit Days, Awards Assemblies, MLK projects, art projects in class, music assemblies, field trips), and the teachers work hard to do the best they can with what they have. The test scores are high and getting higher each year. The PTA is excellent, and fully supports the school. Yes, it is over crowded and under funded like ALL CA public schools, but the hard work of the principal, teachers, and parent volunteers makes up for it. Over all it's a great school, and is earning a reputation as the best in Millbrae.
Millbrae has been hard hit by the recent budget cuts. All grades, including kindergarten, now have a 1:30 teacher-student ratio. At Meadows, from what I can see, the kids get almost zero individual attention academically, and no differentiation. Academics here do not encourage problem solving or creativity and seem to consist mainly of filling out state-standards worksheets. If you dig deeper into the test stats, it appears that Meadows scores a 1 out of 10 compared to schools with similar demographics. One way of thinking of this is that the best thing about this school is the student body. Teachers are competent, but maybe demoralized - at least I haven't seen anyone going the extra mile to be particularly smart or creative with the curriculum, or tutor students for free on their own time, as I have seen at other schools. Be vigilant, your student may fall through the cracks here.
The wonderful teachers at Meadows deserve a big round of applause for their dedication to the children of this school. We've gone through four different principals in six years but somehow the teachers and staff continued their great work without missing a beat. We are fortunate to have a group of seasoned teachers and staff. Despite the principal turnovers, lack of funding, and layoffs, the children never lacked in receiving an excellent education from these teachers. These teachers truly care and have amazing work ethics. The new principal seems genuinely concerned about the wellbeing of this school. He wants to continue improving on the good work. The PTA here is outstanding, vibrant and strong. There's always more than enough volunteers for school projects. Because of the PTA, the kids enjoy enrichment programs, sports, music, learning materials, and buses for fieldtrips. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! GO MEADOWS!!!
My daughter went here from K-5, she really loved this school. So far she is prepared farely well for middle school. PTA does a lot of work for this school to keep many things available to all the students.
We've been with Meadows for three years now - and we are still very happy with the wonderful teachers and the care and saftey and curriculum this school offers our kids. My daughter is in 2nd grade this year and so far it's been great. My parent-teacher conferences were very well put together and I was impressed by the teachers' personal knowledge of my daughter's character and interests and was grateful for their suggestions and feedback. The parents here are just great. They are friendly, helpful, outgoing, intelligent, and respectful. We are so glad we made the move to live here.
I feel lucky that Meadows Elementary is in our neighborhood school. The kids are great and the parents care. The teachers we have had from K to 3rd have been very good. The school tries hard to improve itself.
Quality school, very active and productive PTA. PTA donates money each year to keep Tech Lab & Library open with full time staffing. Music available, after school sports for 4 & 5th grades. Art in Action available to all grades. Most all teachers are awesome and really go the extra mile for our students.
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